IMHO the boy is partially right, partially barking at the wrong tree, or crying at a wrong grave.
The “free“ scene has decades of experience with the FIS. The old freestyle lost its freedom and moguls and aerials became strictly reglemented contests with judges sanctioning any deviation from the prescribed execution.
Alas, it was no lesson for the new free generation of snowboards. First af all, David should blame those early snowboarders 20 years ago. “We felt that it was an essential step toward getting our sport added to the Olympics”: yes, David, they also desperately wanted to thy Olympics. Shouldn´t they have known by then what those fat cats in the IOC and FIS (some of them members of both) are like? Wasn´t there enough evidence?
When in Rome do as the Romans do. Joining efforts with FIS and IOC they sacrificed their independence. It was the same trade-off: you´ll be a part of our ski and olympic business and we let you become olympians. Elementary, dear Watson: Olympics for independence.
Not all were ready to sell themselves, the legendary Hakonsen and some others refused to.
“We knew that FIS was the avenue to follow to get our sport into the Olympics, and we thought it was worth it.” Exactly.
They chose to “humble themselves” (exactly again) hoping to get the glory, audience, sponsoring, contracts, money to live as a pro.
Why not, who wouldn´t act the same? To turn one´s hobby into a well-paid job is definitely one of the best life achievements. Yet, as most things in life, it often has its price. Here, it´s becoming a popular pro rider but in the IOC/FIS context being mere pawns in their games.
Or, maybe, not even that. David: “it was X Games that enabled many skiers to even be professionals during the early years. Without the X Games I would not be able to be doing what I am doing today.” Saying that it was X-G and not Olympics that made him what he is.
Why Olympics? There are, esp. in US, so many stars of non-olympic sports, and they seem to live and earn well. Did they have to long for the OG that desperately?
Here, and I´m trying not to be offensive, invho, the exaggerated American craze about Olympics played a significant role. The shrewed FIS officials knew and the IOC guys knew. Their strategy had worked around 1995 with the boarders and it worked again later with the skiers.
“They thought it was worth it.” There was a choice and they decided to go that way.
I´m sorry but they should blame both FIS and themselves. Maybe a lesson of the sort young people need – world champs including.
Btw, FIS wasn´t founded in 1910 but 1924 when it transformed from the ISC and when alpine skiing and racing was still nonexistent. Nevertheless, Davis is right that it´s mostly the Swiss that have the say now. And their friends in the agencies selling rights for FIS competitions. That´s the money it´s all about.
Both the riders and (alpine) skiers are The Expendables, cannon fodder. Hic Rhodus, hic salta. All the Games and Championships are the Rhodos island and the athletes are there to perform their silly jumps. That´s the business.
Sad but true, I´m afraid. Welcome in the world of big sports bosses.