Smack Talk Ensues At The Air + Style Beijing Press Conference And Main Draw

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The Oakley & Shaun White Present Air + Style in Beijing, China officially kicked off last night with Oakley, Red Bull and Shaun White welcoming the riders, press and fans of the number one snowboard contest series in the world.

Oakley’s VP of Global Sports Marketing, Pat McIlvain welcomed everyone at the Crown Plaza Hotel in the fourth ring of Beijing, China across from the Bird’s Nest. Which was then followed by one Red Bull China’s directors welcoming the press and thanking them for supporting the first major snowboarding contest in a city that sees six million drivers on the road each day!

After the two heads of Oakley and Red Bull introduced the event and thanked the press, our main host and two time Winter Olympic gold medalist, Shaun White came up to speak about his excitement for the upcoming contest. White was happy to share his past with the event as a two time champion of Air + Style as well as his enthusiasm for bringing his beloved sport of snowboarding to Beijing, China.

Next was the really fun part – the main draw seedings for the head-to-head match-ups. Air + Style is a very unique contest format in that it’s winner take all event similar to the “field of 64” in the America’s very popular college basketball Final Four tournament.

Smack talk ensued with the first draw coming from reigning Air + Style champion, Marko Grilc selecting Oakley’s Mikkel Bang. The young Norwegian is known for taking down top seeds after successfully knocking out Travis Rice in 2007 and going on to finish runner-up to his Oakley teammate Kevin Pearce.

Marko’s first words were, “I am glad I picked such an easy competitor.” And with that single comment the drawing smack talk was underway, and would continue with headlocks from Wiig, eye locks from Peetu and licked lips from Kazu – check the photo gallery.

So, the field for this year’s Air + Style over Beijing is now set and we here in the city cannot wait for the madness to begin inside the Olympic Center Stadium on Saturday evening, Beijing, China time.