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Snowboarders Launch Winter Jam 2007

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TWC News: Snowboarders Launch Winter Jam 2007
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Ten tons of snow have been trucked in to the city today as part of the "Street Sessions" snowboarding competition in Union Square.

Some of the world's top boarders will be grinding the rails and showing off their moves in the city's first-ever professional snowboarding event, which kicks-off this weekend's "Winter Jam" festival in Central Park.

Twenty-four professional snowboarders are competing for a $30,000 prize in today's event.

But for boarders, it's also a chance to share their sport with the Big Apple.

"It's very exciting. We're really happy we're able to pull this together,” said event director Dan Gacetta. “So many New Yorkers are winter sports enthusiasts and fans of snowboarding and skiing, and we thought wouldn't it be great to bring an event right here to the backyard of New Yorkers?”

"It is very cool. Yeah, being from Vermont, I'm not used to this. I've been to New York before, but it's going to be cool to snowboard here, definitely," said snowboarder Yale Cousino.

The snowboarders are tackling a forty foot customized urban style rail and staircase set-up made possible by ten tons of snow imported from Mountain Creek in New Jersey.

"It's wicked steep," said pro snowboarder Chris Rotax. "Usually the rails aren't at such a steep pitch."

"It adds a lot of consequences," said Cousino. It hurts a lot more to fall down some stairs and some metal than it does just on the snow."

Activities are taking place all afternoon but the actual competition begins around 5:30 p.m.

The winter fun continues Saturday at the Winter Jam Festival in Central Park. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/parks.
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