Words: Jeff Schmuck
It's time for another update on the AFP World Rankings, as while the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are about to begin, and the majority of freeskiing's top competitors have made their way to Russia for the Games, the AFP World Tour has been rolling right along with three Bronze-level events taking place over the course of the last week: The Polish Freeskiing Open in Zakopane, Poland, The Canadian Open Tour at Mount St Louis Moonstone, Ontario and the Rocky Mountain Freeski Championships in Snowmass, Colorado.
Throughout the rankings, there have been some mild fluctuations in the top 10 due to the 52-week rolling system eliminating some of last year's results, but since virtually all of those athletes didn't compete in the last week due to the Olympics, we'll focus on those a little lower down the list who did. In Men's Halfpipe, Riley Culver's victory at the Canadian Open Tour has allowed him to maintain his position in 71st, while second place finisher Ty Schulte has moved from 49th to 44th, and bronze medalist Lucas Bowman has jumped three spots, from 36th to 33rd. Meanwhile, Broby Leeds' first place finish at the Rocky Mountain Freeski Championships has caused him to crack the top 20 from 21st, second place Zach Fedrizzi has jumped from 82nd to 64th, and third place finisher Keenan McIntyre has jumped 17 spots, from 74th to 57th.
Amongst the ladies, Cassie Sharpe, despite winning the Canadian Open Tour, is down a spot, from 37th to 26th, due to her having stronger results last year, Kelly Sildaru (who is more well-known for her slopestyle prowess) remains in 68th on the Women's Halfpipe Rankings after placing second, and third place finisher Megan Warrener is up two spots, from 36th to 34th. As a result of the Rocky Mountain Freeski Championships, Carson Campisi's victory maintains her hold on 67th, Hannah Smith has jumped 20 spots, from 80th to 60th, after placing second, and Simone Augspurger's third place performance allows her to remain in 71st.
In Men's Slopestyle, Taylor Wilson's victory at the Canadian Open Tour (which was the first contest he competed in this season) gets him on the board in 428th, Mark Hendrickson placing second allows him to jump from 91st to 75th, and Tyson Oland's third place finish has nudged him up a spot, from 97th to 96th. At the the Rocky Mountain Freeski Championships, Eddie Gildea's win moves him 69 spots up the ladder, from 201st to 132nd, while Gregory Spalding and Tyler Spence's respective second and third place finishes get them on the board as well, in 447th and 466th.
In Women's Slope, Kelly Sildaru took top honors at the Canadian Open Tour, which moves her from 33rd to 28th, Shondra Charbonneau placing second helps her remain in 44th, and third place finisher Hannah Norman has jumped 39 spots, from 119th to 80th. Meanwhile, Sadie Smith's victory at the Rocky Mountain Freeski Championships allows her to maintain 120th, and does the same for second place finisher Hannah Smith in 124th, while Kailyn Forsberg placing third has allowed her to move a whopping 44 spots up the rankings, from 135th to 91st.
Being that the Polish Freeskiing Open was only a Big Air contest, there are some mild changes to report in the rankings, as Pentilla Pontus' victory has allowed him to get on the board in 189th, PC Fosse placing second has moved him from 43rd to 25th, and third place finisher Ville Vuori has made a massive ascent of 94 spots, from 165th to 71st.
On the Overall side of things, outside of the general fluctuations due to the 52-week rolling system that were referenced at the top of this update, the only significant changes to report in regards to this past weekend's competitors are Broby Leeds moving from 24th to 17th and Kelly Sildaru jumping up 15 spots, from 35th to 20th.
That's all for now from the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, but stay tuned for a short and sweet update following the lone event on the AFP World Tour over the course of the next week, the U.S. Rev Tour in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.