SILVAPLANA, Switzerland (Mar. 14, 2015)—The FIS Slopestyle World Cup tour wrapped up in Silvaplana, Switzerland with Olympic Champion Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) taking second in the slopestyle tour standings.
Christensen, who dominated the U.S. Grand Prix in front of his hometown crowd in Park City, UT earlier this season, was leading the tour rankings heading into the final event but failed to make finals, finishing 25th in Silvaplana and settling for a second place finish. Christensen was also competing with a broken hand sustained in a filming incident just days before the last event. “Unfortunately, things didn't go exactly as planned and Joss ended up second overall,” said head slopestyle coach Skogen Sprang. “He showed a lot of heart to come over and compete just days after breaking his hand.”
TIGNE, France (Mar. 11, 2015)—The FIS World Cup Tour wraps up this week with halfpipe finals taking place in Tignes, France on Thursday, with slopestyle qualifiers and finals taking place in Silvaplana, Switzerland on Friday and Saturday. Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) sits in striking distance to win the coveted crystal globe in both.
In a sport that gets more and more specialized by the year—with athletes choosing early on in their competitive careers to focus on halfpipe or slopestyle—Kenworthy stands out as one of the only competitors male or female to compete, and win, both halfpipe and slopestyle competitions.
“Gus is able to take tricks from one discipline to the other better than anyone,” said U.S. Freeskiing team halfpipe coach Andy Woods after Kenworthy qualified first in the FIS World Cup halfpipe in Tignes. “And because he does both events, his air awareness is freakishly good.”
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 27, 2015) – In a clutch performance on his third and final run, hometown hero Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) led a men’s U.S. podium sweep at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. Fellow Parkite McRae Williams (Park City, UT), who hasn’t landed on the Grand Prix podium yet this year, finished second, with Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) rounding out the podium in third. Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) also came through on her third and final run to finish in the second spot for the women. Sweden's Emma Dahlstrom took the win, with Norway's Tiril Sjaastad-Christiansen in third.
With the hometown crowd cheering him on, Christensen knew he was going to have to throw down on his third run after making uncharacteristic mistakes in the first two.
With fresh snow falling on Park City Mountain Resort at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, the conditions were tough for the athletes in the Visa slopestyle skiing qualifiers. The two heats became a game of survival, with the snow making speed a major issue on Thursday. Devin Logan (West Dover, VT), McRae Williams (Salt Lake City, UT), Chris Laker (Cincinnati, OH), Joss Christensen (Park City, UT), Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO), Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, CO) and Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA) qualified for Friday’s finals.
With snow quickly accumulating on the Park City slopestyle course, the rails became sticky and the jumps hard to clear as the afternoon progressed. But it clearly made little difference for the Americans, as six qualified for the finals out of 10 possible spots. In the first heat, Williams grabbed the third spot, and Laker snagged the fifth, while Christensen, Kenworthy, Brown and Wallisch went one through four in the second heat.
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 23, 2015) – The final stop on the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix tour will take place Feb. 25- Mar.1 at Park City Mountain Resort. 2014 Olympic medalists Joss Christensen (Park City, UT), David Wise (Reno, NV), Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, CA), Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO), Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) and Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) are slated to compete along with a field of top ranked international freeskiers and snowboarders for a piece of the $400,000 total tour purse.
While he’s been able to freeski at home multiple times this season, next week’s Grand Prix will be the first competition Joss Christensen has competed in Park City since winning last year’s slopestyle competition and securing his spot on the Olympic team. He would go on to win gold and lead the U.S. podium sweep in Sochi.
ASPEN, CO (Jan. 24. 2015)—The bluebird skies of the previous three days at X Games turned to low-light, cloudy conditions on Saturday in Aspen, Colorado. The bad visibility made an already challenging ski slopestyle course more difficult for the men’s and women’s finals. In the end, Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) won his third consecutive X Games slopestyle gold medal and Olympic champion Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) took home the silver. On the women’s side, Keri Herman (Breckenridge, CO) also won silver.
BRECKENRIDGE, CO (Dec. 14, 2014) - Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) took home his first slopestyle Dew Tour title and fellow Olympic medalist, Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) finished third on the final day of the 10th annual Dew Tour in Breckenridge. Kenworthy posted the two highest scores of the day and landed two solid runs in a course challenged by weather with heavy snow falling and creating a soft, slow course and near whiteout conditions at times.
Kenworthy seemed unphased by the fresh snow that accumulated during the event, landing an impressive winning run with a left double cork 1080 tailgrab and a standout switch left 270 to lipslide on the wallride, the only competitor to utilize that feature.
PARK CITY, UT (Nov. 19) – The Sprint U.S. Grand Prix has a long legacy of creating Olympic champions. This year many of them will return to compete on the 2014-15 tour, including 2014 Olympic champions Maddie Bowman, Joss Christensen, Kaitlyn Farrington, David Wise and Sage Kotsenburg. Over $400,000 in prize money will be awarded at the three Grand Prix tour stops. The season opener will be held at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Resort. California’s Mammoth Mountain will host stop number two and Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort will host the tour finale. The Grand Prix will host FIS World Cup level and Platinum level AFP events at Copper and Park City and the Mammoth Mountain’s stop will be part of this year’s TTR World Snowboard Pro Tour.
PARK CITY, UT (July 24) – The Sochi Olympic Winter Games produced 17 medals, including a record eight gold, for U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) athletes. It was also a record year for USSA partners who activated marketing campaigns around the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. Over 200 partners gathered for USSA Partner Summit 2014 at the team’s Center of Excellence in Park City this week to celebrate Sochi and recap the partnership outreach that brought the Sochi story to millions of Americans.