Words: Jeff Schmuck
Another contest, another update on the AFP World Rankings, as the first stop of the Grand Prix series took place this past weekend at Copper Mountain, Colorado, where a host of halfpipe and slopestyle competitors gave it their all at the second Platinum-level Olympic qualifying event on this season's AFP World Tour.
Needless to say, the event, which unfortunately experienced its fair share of challenging weather, altered the AFP World Rankings, so here's a look at what transpired along with who's sitting where on the rankings at the conclusion of 2013.
In Men's Halfpipe, David Wise is still standing strong atop the leader board despite failing to qualify for finals at the Grand Prix, while his U.S. teammate Aaron Blunck continued his hot streak after last weekend's second place finish at Dew Tour by winning the Grand Prix, which has bumped him into 2nd place in the rankings, forcing Torin Yater-Wallace (who skipped the event due to a rib injury he sustained at Dew Tour) into 3rd. Also moving up a spot is the Flying Frenchman Kevin Rolland, who's second place performance at Grand Prix has allowed him to overtake 4th place from Mike Riddle (who is now in 5th), while Gus Kenworthy, who rounded out the Grand Prix podium in third, has moved up two spots into 7th.
On the ladies' side of things, the top 2 remain the same, with Maddie Bowman (who placed second at Grand Prix) in 1st and Rosalind Groenewoud (who recently got her knees scoped and sat Grand Prix out as a result…but will be back in time for Sochi) in 2nd, but Brita Sigourney has jumped a whopping 11 spots into 3rd place following her victory at Grand Prix, bumping Anais Caradeux, Virginie Faivre and Ayana Onozuka all down a spot into 4th, 5th and 6th respectively, while third place finisher Marie Martinod maintains her 7th place position.
In Men's Slopestyle, Nick Goepper continues to hold down the top spot after placing second at Grand Prix (which also officially secured him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team), while Russ Henshaw's third place finish moves him up a spot into 2nd and bumps James 'Woodsy' Woods down a spot into 3rd (which is the only change to report in the top 10), while Grand Prix winner Andreas Håtveit is currently sitting in 18th following his injury-plagued season last winter.
In Women's Slopestyle, Tiril Christiansen is still on top, Dara Howell continues to hold down 2nd following her victory at the Grand Prix, but Maggie Voisin (who place fourth at Grand Prix) has moved up two spots into 3rd while Keri Herman (who placed seventh) has moved up four spots into 4th, bumping Jamie Crane-Mauzy and Yuki Tsubota down one spot each into 5th and 6th respectively. Also worth noting is second place finisher Darian Stevens moving up 24 spots into 44th and Grete Eliassen (who placed third) moving up 14 spots into 20th.
On the Men's Overall Rankings, the only change to report in the top 10 is Bobby Brown moving from 9th to 7th following his 5th place showing at Grand Prix, which bumps Russ Henshaw and James Woods down a spot to 8th and 9th, while on the ladies' side of things, we have a new leader, as Devin Logan's impressive performances over the past few weeks in both slopestyle and halfpipe has moved her into the top spot, bumping Jamie Crane-Mauzy into 2nd.
That's all for now, but stay tuned for more updates following the dawn of 2014, and on behalf of everyone at the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, we hope you all have a Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas.