Words: Jeff Schmuck
With the end of the 2013/2014 AFP World Tour less than a week away, it's time for our second to last update on this year's AFP World Rankings, as two of the final three events of the season (the Platinum-ranked Jon Olsson Invitational in Åre, Sweden (which was a Big Air only event) and the Bronze-ranked Swiss Freeski Championships in Corvatsch Silvaplana, Switzerland, which consisted of Men's and Women's Slopestyle and Halfpipe) took place this past weekend. Here's a look at how they shook up the rankings heading into this weekend's AFP World Championships in Whistler, BC.
In Men's Slopestyle, Luca Schuler continued his breakout winter by winning the Swiss Freeski Championships, which bumps him 22 spots up, from 80th to 58th, while Jonas Hunziker is up three, from 37th to 34th, after taking second, and Till Matti is up 31, from 120th to 89th, after placing third.
In Women's Slopestyle, Kelly Sildaru capped off her dominant season with another win at the Swiss Freeski Championships, which has allowed her to remain in 16th, while Camillia Berra made another podium appearance in second, which helps her maintain her position just behind Sildaru in 17th, and Sandy Marti remains in 114th after rounding out the podium in third.
In Men's Halfpipe, Nils Lauper picked up his first win of the season at the Swiss Freeski Championships, which helps continue to hold down 26th, Joel Gisler's second place performance allows him to ascend 16 spots, from 85th to 69th, and Fabian Meyer is up 12 spots, from 62nd to 50th, after taking third.
In Women's Halfpipe, Kelly Sildaru made it two-for-two at the Swiss Freeski Championships, which notches her up from 48th to 45th, Sandy Marti remains in 68th after scoring second, and Enya Beutler gets on the board in 70th thanks to taking third.
In Big Air, there are some major shake-ups to report, as in addition to the madness that ensued during the 10th anniversary of the Jon Olsson Invitational, as a result of the 52-week rolling system and the date of last year's AFP World Championships, last year's results from the latter event have dropped off, helping set the stage for what will surely be an exciting show (with serious implications for who will ultimately be crowed AFP World Big Air Champion at the AFP Awards Dinner on Sunday) at the final big air event of the year this Saturday night in Whistler. Results and rankings-wise, Oscar Wester emerged victorious at JOI to stand on top of a podium for the fourth time this year during his impressive breakout season, which has allowed him to move from 38th to 10th, Jesper Tjader triple corked his way 10 spots up to overtake the top spot from Vincent Gagnier after placing second, and Fabian Bosch has jumped from 19th to 6th after taking third.
And last but not least, on the Men's Overall Rankings, there are a handful of significant changes to report in the top 10, including Jesper Tjader moving from 9th to 4th and Oscar Wester jumping 17 spots up, from 24th to 17th, while on the Women's side of things, Kelly Sildaru has ascended from 6th to 4th, and Rachael Anderson has cracked the top 10 by moving from 11th to 9th.
That's all for now from the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, but be sure to stay tuned for our final update on the 2013/2014 AFP World Tour and AFP World Rankings, which will wrap up this weekend with a bang via the always incredible AFP World Championships and AFP Awards Dinner during the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC. For more information on what's about to go down, be sure to check out our event preview here, along with www.wssf.com.