Progression has consistently taken sports like snowboarding and figure skating to new heights. And while those two sports may seem to have little in common at first, it just so happens that many athletes in both sports are chasing "quadruples" of some kind right now.
In snowboarding, the biggest maneuver being done is the quad cork, a trick defined by four inverts as the rider rotates off-axis. Norway's Marcus Kleveland knows all about quad corks – in 2015, he became the youngest snowboarder to ever land one, and a few years later he became the first rider to land the trick in competition when he did a quad cork 1800 at an X Games big air contest.
In figure skating, the term "quad" refers to the number of revolutions done by the skater, and there are multiple types of quad jumps. U.S. star Nathan Chen is a master of the quad — he landed six of them during his free skate at the last Olympics — while his teammate Vincent Zhou was the first skater to land a quad Lutz at the Olympics (and the youngest at the time to land it at all).
These maneuvers, once thought to be unachievable, are pushing the limits of what's possible. But it's more than just a name that links them together. In both sports, the push for progression leading to these quads has increased the risk factor for athletes and raised questions about whether style and artistry are being lost in favor of a "spin to win" mentality.
In the return of The Podium, an Olympic podcast from NBC Sports, the first episode of Season 3 takes a deep dive into the world of quads. Listen to the episode below to hear Kleveland and Zhou discuss the mechanics of their respective quads, their takes on the style vs. technicality debate, and how far progression in their sports can realistically go.
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Season 3 of The Podium is hosted by Lauren Shehadi. Follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes will be released weekly on Tuesdays ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, followed by daily episodes throughout the duration of the Games.