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Tuesday, January 1, 2002
Fan Guide

By ESPN.com news services

FROM START TO FINISH
Freestyle Skiing

ESPN.com's animated fan guide feature takes you through the ins and outs of each sport. Check out each sport's fan guide for more.

Freestyle skiing

Alpine skiing


Olympic competition dates:
Moguls: Feb. 9, Feb. 12
Aerials: Feb. 16, Feb. 18-19
Venue: Deer Valley

Oringinally all one event, freestyle skiing has been divided into moguls and aerials. Moguls combine speed and jumping with skiing technique. Aerials are acrobatics in the air.

Skiers must first show that they can perform aerial maneuvers into a swimming pool during the summer months before they are allowed to train on a mountain.

The outlook
Men: Much of the men's mogul competition depends on 1998 Olympic champion Jonny Moseley, and whether he can do the much-ballyhooed Dinner Roll jump in which he flies off the mogul, then rotates twice, with his body parallel to the ground. If he pulls it off, he should win the gold.

Women: Defending world champion and World Cup series champion Kari Traa of Norway is the best woman moguler. Hannah Hardaway is the top American hopeful. American Eric Bergoust and Australian Jacqui Cooper are favorites in aerials.

The finer points
Mogul skiing, in which skiers traverse a seriously bumpy slope going for both speed and style, made its full Olympic debut in 1992. A first round of mogul runs whittles the field to the top 16 finalists as judges score the skiers on their speed and the quality and technique of their turns and aerials.

In aerial skiing, which debuted in 1994, competitors perform a series of acrobatic maneuvers while soaring 50 to 60 feet in the air off a jump. There are two types of aerials, upright and inverted. In upright aerials, the skier's head must stay above his or her feet at all times. Inverted aerials consist of flips and twists. Judging in aerials gives 50 percent of the weight to technique and form, 20 percent to takeoff and 30 percent to the landing.