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Olympic Outsiders

If you can't be inside the Olympic Games, then follow Seattle Times producers, reporters, videographers and Olympic fans as we take you to the streets of Vancouver, B.C., to show you what's happening on the ground and give you a taste of the scene swirling around the 2010 winter games.

February 15, 2010 at 8:10 PM

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Olympic men's snowboard cross: the sport, the venue and those jeans

Posted by Stephanie Clary

It took a charter bus and a shuttle, but we made it up to Cypress Mountain today for men's snowboard cross finals.

The West Vancouver ski and snowboard venue has had several problems since the start of the Games: transportation issues, wet weather and a lack of concessions for spectators. Most recently, 8,000 snowboard cross general admission tickets were refunded after rain washed away snow and Vanoc said the standing-room area was unsafe.

It's unfortunate because the very video-game worthy sport is fantastic to witness. A big screen shows the majority of the track as snowboarders fly off jumps and rub elbows around corners, all while working in a bit of their personal riding style. Guns N' Roses blasts in the background, and fans in the grandstands get a view of the final jump and finish line. Strategically-placed green Olympic rings make that view picture-perfect.

Sports columnist Jerry Brewer is covering the snowboard cross events, so we caught up with him after Seth Wescott of the U.S. won the gold medal.

Watch the video below to see Brewer discuss the appeal of snowboard cross, Cypress Mountain conditions and why the U.S. team is wearing these worn-jean snowboard pants ...


... because I didn't understand.

Read Brewer's full story here.


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