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Champion skiers hit the Sierra

Spanish rider Queralt Castellet performs a 'halfpipe' jump on the slopes.
Spanish rider Queralt Castellet performs a 'halfpipe' jump on the slopes. / EFE
  • The Sierra Nevada slopes host the 2017 Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Championships this week

On Wednesday 777 international skiers and snowboarders descended upon the slopes of Andalucía's biggest mountain to compete in this year's Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Championships.

Using either skis or a snowboard the 'riders,' whose name as well as their skiing style separates them from traditional forms of skiing, will be judged on an array of acrobatic jumps, including somersaults and air spins.

The International Skiing Federation (FIS) has not only praised the competition itself for "projecting a youthful image onto the sport," as more millennials are attracted to this riskier form of skiing, but has also been impressed by the organisation, infrastructure and audiences at the Sierra Nevada event.

Although freestyle skiing and snowboarding demands strenuous training at the highest levels, in general the style of the sport is considered to be more free and relaxed in comparison to the technical rigours of traditional skiing, something which is demonstrated by riders' kits of oversized hoodies and baggy trousers.

So far this week the podium has been dominated by Japanese freestyle skier Ikuma Hiroshima who has taken the gold medal on two consecutive days. However, Malaga rider Regino Hernández, who will compete today (Friday), hopes to challenge him and "make an impression at home."