Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sandboarding in the Olympics

Since the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, Snowboarding has been a sport in the winter Olympics with venues, medals, podiums, winners, crowds, and nationalistic pride. If Snowboarding is in the winter Olympics, why can't Sandboarding be the summer alternative?

Sandboarding has been a sport growing in popularity and it's looking to increase popularity as the days go on, snowboarding has been the more popular of the two and even video games, box office movies, and novels have been based on Snowboarding; however if you remember when I first began this blog, I made a post on the History and Origins on Sandboarding where the general answer online was that Sandboarding was invented in the 1st century AD (or CE) and that Snowboarding came around in the 19th & 20th centuries (anywhere between 1800 and about 1950-ish).

Courtesy of: US Geological Survey License: Public Domain
The construction of a sand dune is tedious as it involves centuries of sand being formed by wind, as the grains of sand get more and more, the dunes get bigger and bigger and that is a reason why sand dunes have a windward side and a leeward side; having said that, the construction of an artificial dune is somewhat easier, you could just go to one of those companies that specialise in building materials and buy sand bags (not building sand, preferably one that doesn't contain a lot of water molecules), and with millions of pounds later (in both currency and weight), have yourself a sand dune that's about 25 metres.


Okay, maybe I'm being a bit too over-ambitious; why not take a dune that's already had the many years of forming and use it for the sport itself, it might work for promoting local businesses, tourism to a local area, and making people sandboarding instructors; that's what happened to the small town on Alamosa in Colorado. Alamosa has a population of about 8,000 at the last census and now has a good tourism sector due to the Colorado Gators Reptile Park and the Great Sand Dunes National Park, if it can work for Alamosa then surely some very low population towns could use the same treatment, right?

Alamosa City Hall. Courtesy of: Milan Suvajac License: CC BY-SA 4.0 Modified: No


Take Alamosa as an example, if you called the US National Olympic Committee to the dunes, got some traffic cones, wooden ramps, and tape as an example then you could use that 'course' as an example track for a slalom discipline for Sandboarding, same can be applied to other disciplines like Ski-jumping (obviously with a sandboard and one ramp only). If someone submitted that to their national Olympic committee, I'm sure that the sport would get some consideration and thought from their NOC, however; if it's not accepted then just make a better course or even better, start a second Sand Master Park in Oregon and in due course, you could make Alamosa the next Florence (a town in Oregon home to the Sand Master Park).

Sand Master Park was founded in 2000, the population from the 1990 census to the 2010 census rose from 5,162 to 8,466 inhabitants, keep in mind that when the 2000 census was taken in Florence (population: 7,263) the town had it's second highest rise in population since being founded (40.7%) after the 1950 census which had a population increase by 124.0%; so it can be deduced that populations can be increased by tourism in the area, and back in Alamosa; the population in the 2010 census compared to 2000, increased by 10.3%; this could be because that the Sand Dunes Preserve was upgraded to a National Park by the US Congress back in 2004.


Those last few paragraphs about Alamosa and Florence are related because I believe that the sandboarding interest could boost tourism to a local area, and stimulate a local economy, keep in mind that sandboarding instructors, park rangers, tour guides, litter pickers, and office staff would be needed if you wanted to start a local sandboarding club or park, however that's a story for another time. So my final statement is that if Snowboarding can increase tourists to Austrian, French, Andorran, Norwegian, German, and Swiss towns; why is it that people don't tend to believe that Sandboarding can increase tourism to Namibian, American, Spanish, Egyptian, South African, and Australian towns? If you entice more people into a sport and make more people interested, you'll get given a louder voice when it comes to sports in the local area, hence if more voices are being generated by Sandboarding gaining popularity, then that will be the core reason why Sandboarding will be an Olympic sport with venues, medals, podiums, winners, crowds, and nationalistic pride.

Gold Medal from the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Courtesy of: Cliff License: CC BY 2.0


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