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VANCOUVER 2010 OLYMPIC REVIEW45 THRILLS'NSPILLS After Turin, even casual Olympic fans could name the men's snowboard halfpipe gold medalist. Shaun White's personality, flair and hair attracted unprecedented attention to his sport - and younger viewers to the Olympic Winter Games. The 23- year- old American was far and away the best rider in the world and proved he deserved the high profile afforded him by winning every contest he entered that year, the only rider ever to log a perfect season. This year, that could change. In the past six months, men's snowboarding has experienced unbelievable progression, and while White is still the red- hot gold medal favourite, a very talented group of athletes from around the world are set to challenge him in Whistler. Since Turin, White has been training on a private halfpipe built exclusively for him by one of his sponsors. There, he perfected several never- before-done tricks, including the double cork 1080, which made its debut at the New Zealand Open in mid- August. " I'm really competitive, and I get bored doing the same tricks," White says. " I get a great feeling out of learning a brand new trick. I feel alive. This year, no one can say I didn't go for it, and that's what it's all about. Doing something new." But it wasn't White who had the privilege of first nailing the new trick in competition. Fellow Americans Luke Mitrani, Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Scotty Lago and Kevin Pearce have all landed variations of the double cork, and all are legitimate contenders for the US team. At training sessions in New Zealand this summer, riders from Australia and China were also attempting the trick, which is the most progressive move since the back- to- back 1080 ( aka, the Talk of Torino). Pearce, 21, is still the only rider to beat White in a contest in which White did not fall, break his board or injure himself. And Pearce's sponsor built him his own private halfpipe in California, where he went to work on perfecting a few new tricks of his own this summer. " Halfpipe riding is going to be stepped up to a whole new level in Vancouver," Pearce says. " The level of riding in the States alone is unreal." Leading the challenge to the Americans will be 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Markku Koski and fellow Finns including Antti Autti, Peetu Piiroinen and Risto Mattila. Koski is the anithesis of some of the more flamboyant boarders with his " less talk, more action" style but will be a leading contender on Cypress Mountain. Other names deserving a mention are Switzerland's Louri Podladtchikov, second to White in the season- opening FIS World Cup event in New Zealand in August, and Australia's Nathan Johnstone. On the women's side, 16- year- old Chinese sensation Jiayu Liu looks to have a golden chance to end the US grip on the Olympic title. The 2009 FIS World Cup winner won the first event of the season ahead of American pair Kelly Clark, 2002 Olympic gold medalist and Gretchen Bleiler, 28, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist. They, along with compatriot Hannah Teter, 22, gold medalist from Turin and Australian technical queen Torah Bright are the women Jiayu will have to beat in Vancouver as she bids to make history. HALFPIPE ALYSSA ROENIGK, SENIOR WRITER, AT ESPN THE MAGAZINE, LOOKS AHEAD TO THE EAGERLY ANTICIPATED HALFPIPE EVENTS IN VANCOUVER AboveThe halfpipe has established a firm following among younger Olympic enthusiasts in particular

46OLYMPIC REVIEW include collection and analysis of data for 126 indicators, and preparation of three reports: pre- Games, Games- time and post- Games ( the baseline report was completed in 2007 by the Fraser Basin Council). The Pre- Games OGI report has been completed and is scheduled to be released in late November 2009, when it will be available on request through the VANOC website. In broad terms, OGI is a sustainability indicators-based study that measures the environmental, economic, and socio- cultural impacts of the Games. Impacts are the changes, or outcomes, in the host city/ region/ country that result from holding the Games. Each of the 126 indicators has a subset of variables that describe the properties of the indicator and specify the types of data to be collected and analysed. The time frame for an OGI study is 12 years, beginning ? OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNER IMPACT OF THEGAMES THE OLYMPIC GAMES IMPACT ( OGI) STUDY BEING CONDUCTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ( UBC) FOR VANCOUVER 2010 IS LOOKING INTO THE ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIO- CULTURAL AFFECTS ON A CITY HOSTING THE OLYMPIC GAMES T he International Olympic Committee ( IOC) initiated OGI in 2003 with three main objectives: to assess the overall impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to assist bid cities and future Games organisers in maximising the benefits of the Games, and to create a comparable benchmark across all future Games. Sustainability is a core principle of OGI. The Games are intended to be sustainable in the sense that they should be " economically viable, be integrated into, and ideally enhance, the local socio- cultural conditions, and... respect the environment." UBC was awarded the five- year OGI project grant in June 2008 by the Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games ( VANOC) to conduct the OGI study. Responsibilities