Tuesday, January 1, 2002
By ESPN.com news services
Olympic competition dates:
Oringinally all one event, freestyle skiing has been divided into moguls and aerials. Moguls combine speed and jumping with skiing technique. Aerials are acrobatics in the air.
Skiers must first show that they can perform aerial maneuvers into a swimming pool during the summer months before they are allowed to train on a mountain.
Women: Defending world champion and World Cup series champion Kari Traa of Norway is the best woman moguler. Hannah Hardaway is the top American hopeful. American Eric Bergoust and Australian Jacqui Cooper are favorites in aerials.
The finer points
In aerial skiing, which debuted in 1994, competitors perform a series of acrobatic maneuvers while soaring 50 to 60 feet in the air off a jump. There are two types of aerials, upright and inverted. In upright aerials, the skier's head must stay above his or her feet at all times. Inverted aerials consist of flips and twists. Judging in aerials gives 50 percent of the weight to technique and form, 20 percent to takeoff and 30 percent to the landing.