Big air is set to make its Olympic debut at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre ©Getty Images

International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper has praised the decision to use the Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium for snowboard big air events at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

The decision to name the centre as the venue for the snowboard event, which is set to make its Olympic debut at the Games in South Korea, was approved last week by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Committee in Lausanne.

It was claimed the venue, which will also hold ski jumping and Nordic combined events, was chosen to stage big air based upon a comprehensive review of factors such as budget and public accessibility.

To accommodate the event, the big air structure is set to be built partially by using the audience seating section, which is set to accommodate 9,500 spectators.

“We fully support this decision of the Pyeongchang Organising Committee to use the Alpensia Ski Jumping stadium as it is right in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 to reduce costs of hosting the Games,” Kasper said.

“Using an existing venue to host a new medal sport shows an excellent use of resources and the stadium environment is in fact the best way to show this exciting event.”

Big air was added to the Pyeongchang 2018 programme in June
Big air was added to the Pyeongchang 2018 programme in June ©Getty Images

Snowboard big air was one of four new disciplines added to the programme for Pyeongchang 2018, with curling mixed doubles, speed skating mass start and an Alpine skiing team event also confirmed for inclusion in June.

Big air, a part of the FIS Snowboard World Championships since 2003, sees competitors ride down a hill and perform tricks after launching off large ramps.

Competitors perform complex tricks in the air, aiming to attain sizable height and distance as well as securing a clean landing.

The inclusion of big air, however, pushed parallel snowboard racing off the programme for the first Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, although it was with the agreement of the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Olympic parallel snowboarder Justin Reiter is contesting this decision and was given permission to advance a legal case against the IOC at the Civil Court in the Lausanne in September.

The American argues that the IOC violated its own rules, which he says prohibit changing an Olympic schedule within three years of the Winter Olympics after his discipline was removed in June.

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