Extreme Winter Olympics? New events, slopestyle and half-pipe, bring new energy to the Olympic Games


One of the biggest events at the Sochi Winter Olympics is being held Tuesday, the men's half-pipe. It's one of several competitions fans will recognize from the Winter X Games. While you won't see any snowmobiles in Sochi, the Olympics do seem to be getting more extreme, mostly because of the television audience.


For die-hard ski fans, watching mostly unidentifiable skiers race against the clock is the stuff dreams are made of. But, for a lot of people, it's time to see what on the other channels.  

The International Olympic Committee hopes the solution is to use terms like "big-air," "high fives" and "dudes on snow," therefore bringing the X Games and it’s lingo to the Olympic Games.

They don't come more laid back cool than the Games' first ever gold medal winner in Slopestyle, Sage Kotzenburg. He explained some of the tricks he does on the snow to CBS News' Mark Phillips.

“I mean anything from 'dude' and 'gnarly,' 'stomp it,' 'send it,' 'spice,'” he said. “There’s so much - 'rodeos,' 'double corks,' 'triple corks,' '1620s,' 'Japan grabs,' 'crails' - it keeps going on and on. It's just unreal.” 

 He won with a "cab double cork 1260" with a "holy grail grab" and a "back 1620 Japan air." 

Like the snowboard slopestyle, last night's moguls were an X-Games import. Slopestyle ski, along with the half-pipe, snow cross, ski cross, parallel snowboard racing have all been added in the hope of keeping young eyes from drifting away. 

Kotzenburg told CBS News’ Mark Phillips that he thinks it’s “pretty cool” that these sports are in the Olympics.

“It’s what everyone on the mountain's doing, all the kids, they're getting into it, they're going into slopestyle,” he said. “They’re going to training parks, halfpipes, and it's cool that the Olympics is showcasing it and hopefully everyone back home is having fun watching it   

It's not just cool, it's desperate business. The games have become just another professional, multi-billion-dollar sport that has to grow its audience to survive.