Parallel Slalom Snowboarding Event Won by Pavlica (SUI) and Tutzer (ITA)

By Jennifer Herbold

The sun was bright, the sky was blue, the clouds were few, and this reporter learned that she needs sunblock (the hard way). The parallel slalom snowboarding event began with great excitement as the crowd was considerably larger than the day before and kept growing throughout the day. There were several different rounds involved in this event beginning with the qualifying rounds. Each boarder needed to go down the slopes twice and those with the top times (four women and eight men) went into the next round. During the second round, the snowboarders competed against one another as opposed to being timed. The one who arrived at the finish line first continued competing and the other was eliminated.

The women competed first, Marlene Tutzer (ITA), Raychelle Harris (USA), Lisa Tempesta (USA), and Marina Lavelle (USA) qualified for the semi-finals.

The men competed shortly after, Stanko Pavlica (SUI), Jeff Pollock (USA), Jacob Buzianis (USA), Steve Villavieja (SUI), Darrick DeLaO (USA), Bill Loftus (USA), Zak Wertz (USA) and Nikas Anthamatten (SUI) qualified for the quarter-finals. Two competitors were disqualified as they were unable to keep their balance and failed to cross the finish line.

The elimination round proved eventful albeit confusing for the spectators and the boarders themselves. Very few could figure out the system (following the International Snowboarding Federation's rules), and many were not sure if the sequence went the way it should as the competitors found themselves competing without really understanding what was going on. For the Women's, Harris (no. 3 seed) went against Lavelle (no. 2 seed) and won as Lavelle overextended herself and braked which slowed her down considerably. There was no surprise when Tutzer of Italy won first place and performed as well as she did on the Grand Slalom.

For the Men's, Pollock (USA) strived to make up for being disqualified for third place during the Grand Slalom yesterday and won second place by inches. Again, there was no surprise when Stanko Pavlica of Switzerland won the championship round.

There were a couple of upset competitors, confused by the system and how the rounds worked. In spite of the confusion, the majority of the snowboarders retained the boarder attitude of keeping cool, mellow, yelling when winning and grinning when losing.