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BURNSVILLE, Minn. - It was the shot heard round the slopes. NBC's Olympic coverage leader, Bob Costas told Matt Lauer on the Today Show last month his thoughts about the a sport added to this year's games in Sochi, slopestyle skiing and snowboarding.

"I think the president of the IOC should be Johnny Knoxville because basically this is just jackass stuff they invented and called Olympic sports," Costas said laughing.

Almost immediately the ski and snowboard community took notice, and offense to the comment.

Slopestyle has now made its Olympic debut, despite this early critique, and the sport, which features both skiers and snowboarders attacking a course of rails and jumps and high speeds and even higher air, has been around for at least two decades.

"It takes a lot of talent to do. It takes quite the athlete to do what these kids are doing out there," Buck Hill Ski and Snowboard school director Tom Schultz said of the sport.

The U.S. kids vying for the gold are the likes of Keri Hermann and Shaun White, hardly slouches on the hills.

On Buck Hill in Burnsville slopestyle is a mainstay.

"Just hit jumps, rails and boxes, it's like freedom," slopestyle skier Drew Olson said of his sport.

Olson has been flying the hill for years, and what he can do, is no laughing matter.

"No rules, no boundaries or limits or anything," Olson said.

Slopestyle is taught at the ski and snowboard school at Buck Hill and part of its draw is the creativity.

To compete, the athlete has to come up with a choreographed plan.

"It's judged on overall impression so it's not just the individual tricks that they are judging. It's the combination of tricks that the athlete decides to use," Buck Hill slopestyle instructor Zach Stebbing said of the competition at the Olympic level.

Oh and those tricks, they can take your breath away.

So love it or not it's a sight to see.

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