Excitement builds around Olympic snowboarding


Security at the Winter Olympics extends from the Olympic Village all the way up into the mountains.

It's a major adventure to get up to the snowboarding course deep in the rugged mountains. Far away from the city, security is intense.

Visitors are closely scrutinized and cleared at several checkpoints. "Big Brother" is still watching, even from helicopters overhead.

"I haven't noticed it that much. Up on the hills when we went snowboarding, I saw guys in the woods with rifles," said NBC commentator Todd Harris. "It doesn't bother us. I would rather have them there than not. I feel safe as can be."

Harris will announce the snowboarding events on NBC. The sport has become very popular and why not? It's so much fun to watch.

"It's an opportunity to take snowboarding back to its roots. It's an opportunity to express yourself," he said. "Three rails, three jumps and those jumps are serious business."

Slopestyle gets very serious on Saturday. One of the first gold medals of the Games will be handed out for the sickest trick.

On Tuesday, Shaun White hits the halfpipe, trying to become the first American to win a gold medal in the same event in three consecutive Olympics.

"Shaun has amazing talent. If he isn't winning, he goes off and works on it to come back and win," Harris said. "He can become a three-time winner. If nothing else, you will want to see that."