For the first time since the 2022 Winter Olympics, Freeski Big Air is headed back to the monumental Big Air ramp in Beijing.
You might remember it from the Olympics: China’s massive permanent Big Air ramp built in a former industrial park. This weekend it plays host to its first major freeski contest since the five-ringed circus nearly two years ago, where, as you might recall, Birk Ruud took home the gold medal among the men, while Eileen Gu edged out Tess Ledeux in the womens' contest.
Thibault Magnin flies high above the Shougang skyline. Photo: Buchholz/FIS
This contest could have all the ingredients for an epic throwdown. First, there’s the venue. The Beijing ramp is huge—big enough that it can be groomed entirely by snowcat from the inrun to the landing, making it unique among city big air setups. This thing has been built from the ground up to be the best big-air venue possible, and according to riders' feedback, that's exactly what it is. Regardless what you might think about the possible ramifications of a massive artificial ramp in the outskirts of the Chinese capital, it's hard to deny that this thing is a great jump.
The weather is also looking great for the weekend, with sun in the forecast and not much wind. That’s a welcome sight for competitors who have been stymied by bad weather at the first two contests of the seasons, forcing finals cancellations both at Big Air Chur in October and the Stubai slopestyle last week.
Love it or hate it, it´s hard to deny that this ramp is an optimal platform for an epic big-air throwdown.
The qualifications on Thursday won’t be livestreamed, but the finals on Saturday, December 2nd will be. You can tune in to the Big Air Beijing livestream at watch.fis-ski.com or on the FIS Freestyle YouTube page.
UPDATE: We just got last-minute news that a qualis livestream is available! You can watch the qualifications here.
The finals livestream will begin on Saturday, December 2nd at 1:00pm local time. That's at 6:00am CET, or midnight Friday on the U.S. East Coast.
The FIS livestream is geoblocked in some countries. We’ll let you know who can watch and who can’t as soon as we know. Of course, you can always get around a geoblock by using a VPN client.
There will also be TV or streaming channels available in some countries. We’ll update this article with other viewing options as soon as we hear them.
Thursday, 30 November 2023
10:20 CST (3:20 CET) Men's qualifications (no livestream)
13:20 CST (6:20 CET) Women's qualifications (no livestream)
Saturday, 2 December 2023
13:00 CST (6:00 CET) Men's & women's finals
Men´s Heat 1.
Men´s Heat 2.