Los Angeles Times

Olympics' new big air snowboarding takes extreme sports to the extreme — and the athletes are scared

Even the best snowboarders in the world know the event they call "big air" isn't normal.

They know it doesn't make sense to fly down a ramp and launch themselves off a steep jump, spinning and twisting through the air, coming down with a thud on hard-packed snow.

That's where fear comes into play.

With big air snowboarding making its Olympic debut at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, the riders vying for gold this week can make what they do look graceful and, at times, utterly natural.

Don't be fooled - they are scared.

"Every time I get up there and I

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