Can’t We All Just Shred Along

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Outside magazine, April 1996

Can’t We All Just Shred Along
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta

At the first world snowboarding championships–or at least the first to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee–last January, it was clear the sport had come a long way. On hand in Lienz, Austria, were 5,000 cowbell-shaking fans and a formidable U.S. team whose uniforms had pockets specifically designed to carry portable CD players. But though the jacked-up
Americans grabbed more than half of the medals, with Jeff Greenwood and Ross Powers winning gold in the giant slalom and half-pipe events, respectively, the championships were marred by the absence of many of the world’s best boarders. Negotiations continue between the sport’s rival organizing bodies, the International Snowboard Federation and the Olympic-sanctioned Federation
International de Ski, but meanwhile athletes must swear allegiance to one or the other and compete in only its sanctioned events. Which left miffed ISF title holder Martin Freinademetz of Austria no choice but to challenge Greenwood to a head-to-head duel. Says the undaunted Greenwood, “Martin’s a great rider, but he talks a lot better than he snowboards.”

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