Tahoe City, CA / Whistler, B.C. – On behalf of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP World Tour) and the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF), we’re disappointed to announce that the AFP World Tour Finals will not take place in Whistler in 2016.
After five eventful years of hosting the AFP World Tour Finals at WSSF in Whistler, which offered an exciting and community-driven conclusion to the AFP World Tour for athletes, the ski industry and spectators alike, the decision was made to not add the AFP Tour Finals to the WSSF line-up.
Due to a lack of resources on the skiing side of the World Ski & Snowboard Festival, which both the Association of Freeskiing Professionals and the hard-working team at WSSF collaborated on over the years to cultivate, we came to the collective decision that we would not be able to execute an event consistent with the caliber required of the Platinum-Level AFP World Tour Finals.
"We are obviously very disappointed that the World Tour Finals will not be happening this year," says AFP Executive Director Eric Zerrenner. "Together with WSSF and Whistler Blackcomb, we have been working hard over the past five years to make this a premier event on the World Tour calendar. Along with the athletes, industry and fans, our standards are high and the resources were just not there this year for us to feel good about meeting those high standards. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to not have the event as part of this season's calendar", adds Zerrenner. "Our focus is now squarely on the 2017 World Tour Finals and getting this important event back as an integral part of the AFP World Tour."
“We’re disappointed that we aren’t able to host the AFP World Tour Finals in 2016, but remain committed to the AFP and the skiing community and look forward to being able to host it again in the future when the proper resources are available to do it at the caliber that we have consistently delivered,” added Sue Eckersley from the World Ski & Snowboard Festival.
In addition to the cancellation of the event, this means that the annual AFP Awards Dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro (who were gracious enough to host us in their beautiful restaurant in Whistler for the past three years) will also not take place. We are currently working hard to schedule an awards ceremony to crown the 2016 AFP World Tour Champions at a later date and location, which will be suitable for as many athletes as possible to attend.
While we understand that this news will cause great disappointment to many athletes and fans (as a result of the countless good times that were had in Whistler during WSSF), rest assured that this unfortunate turn of events does not mean the end of the AFP World Tour Finals. We are currently in extensive discussions with the World Snowboard Tour and various partners to host a combined AFP & World Snowboard Tour Finals in 2017 at a to be announced location.
On behalf of everyone at the Association of Freeskiing Professionals and the World Ski & Snowboard Festival, we would like to thank all of the athletes who attended and competed in the AFP World Tour Finals in Whistler, along with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival for their hard work and tireless efforts over the course of our mutually beneficial and enjoyable partnership.