Updated: September 11, 2010, 5:37 PM ET

Norway to host first World Snowboarding Championships

By ESPN Action Sports
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Lämmerhirt/TTRFinland's Peetu Piiroinen won the 2010 Burton European Open slopestyle, part of the TTR World Tour.

The Norwegian government approved an expansion plan this week for the Tryvann Vinterpark resort, a park that will serve as the host for the inaugural World Snowboarding Championships in Oslo, Norway, in the winter of 2012.

The World Snowboarding Championships will take place every four years and will include men's and women's slopestyle and halfpipe competitions, which will name a world champion of each gender and discipline. Riders must qualify for the event through the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour and through the WSF National Championships. "The World Snowboarding Championships was developed with the athletes' best interests in mind and we are confident the event will become a cornerstone of competitive snowboarding," says Reto Lamm, president of the TTR World Snowboard Tour. "The event will attract the best, most progressive riders in the world."

Last May, the TTR crew met with the World Snowboard Federation at the TTR General Assembly, where they approved the application from Norway to host this event. At that time, Oslo had already guaranteed a 20-million Euro investment in the project, but the Norwegian Government had not yet approved the arena expansion plans.

Lämmerhirt/TTRThe expansion plans for Oslo's Tryvann Vinterpark resort. The new area is in grey, and the existing area is in green.

The final approval came after three years of campaigning and with the help of a partnership between athletes, federations, sports clubs, organizers, the resort and the municipality of Oslo. "This event will offer great motivation to National Snowboard Associations sports development programs at a local level as every nation will be involved in the qualifying system," says WSF vice-president Marco Sampaoli.

At the press conference this week, TTR founder and legendary snowboarder Terje Haakonsen and Norway's Minister of Environment congratulated each other via Skype in front of the many athletes who showed their support including Mikkel Bang, Fredrik Austbø and Helene Olafsen.

Updated information about qualification criteria, event details and scheduling will be available on www.ttrworldtour.com and www.worldsnowboardfederation.org.

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