IOC boss Bach impressed by slopestyle 'cool guys'

Sat Feb 8, 2014 1:53pm EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - With their baggy pants, bandannas and unique vocabulary snowboarders may not be everyone's idea of the archetypal Olympian, but IOC President Thomas Bach is impressed by the 'cool guys' of slopestyle and their gravity-defying tricks.

After meeting the three medalists from Saturday, American Sage Kotsenburg, who topped the podium, Staale Sandbech of Norway and third-placed Canadian Mark McMorris, Bach hailed the arrival of a new generation of athletes at the Sochi Games.

"It looks very spectacular," Bach told a small group of news agency reporters. "I just met the three medalists and they are cool guys.

"They found it (competition) cool and now they wait for the party. When you win you have party."

The event was included in the Sochi Olympics as the IOC is eager to revamp the sports program to attract new sponsors and a new generation of viewers and fans.

Asked about the sport, its athletes and their daredevil approach to the competition, Bach said it was a sign of changes in the Olympics.

"You know, that's the new generation," said the German lawyer.

As well as kudos for the Olympic newbies, Bach had special praise for a Games veteran after 40-year-old Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won Saturday's biathlon sprint to claim a record-equaling 12th Winter Games medal.   Continued...

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach of Germany and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) stand together during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble