Words: Jeff Schmuck
With two events taking place over the course of the last week, including the biggest one of them all on the AFP World Tour, X Games in Aspen, Colorado (which is naturally ranked Platinum), along with the first stop of the SFR Tour in Val Thorens, France (which is ranked Gold), it's time for a key update on the AFP World Rankings as the competitive scene takes somewhat of a breather with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia closely on the horizon.
Kevin Rolland (2nd), David Wise (1st), Alex Ferreira (3rd). Photo by Flip McCririck / ESPN Images
In Men's Halfpipe, David Wise retains his 1st place position after winning his third gold medal in a row at X Games, becoming the first freeskier to do so since the legendary Tanner Hall in 2008. Beyond that though, the top 10 has been completely shaken up, as second place finisher Kevin Rolland has moved up a spot from 3rd to 2nd, which bumps Aaron Blunck into 3rd, Mike Riddle, who placed fourth, has also jumped up a spot into 4th, bumping Torin Yater-Wallace down two spots into 5th, Lyman Currier, who placed sixth, is now in 6th, bronze medalist Alex Ferreira has moved up two spots, from 9th to 7th, which bumps Gus Kenworthy down two notches into 8th, and Thomas 'Toto' Krief, who placed ninth, has jumped up a spot as well into 9th. Rounding out the top 10 is a true icon of our sport, Simon Dumont, who recently announced his retirement from the competition scene after a storied career that has helped bring the sport to where it is today (you'll be missed Simon), while Justin Dorey continues his climb up the rankings by jumping from 15th to 11th.
Roz Groenewoud (2nd), Maddie Bowman (1st), Marie Martinod (3rd). Photo by Matt Morning / ESPN Images
In Women's Halfpipe, Maddie Bowman's victory at X Games has allowed her to maintain the lead, while bronze medalist Marie Martinod has climb two spots, from 3rd to 2nd, which bumps Brita Sigourney into 3rd. Outside of the top 3, Ayana Onozuka continues to hold down 4th, Angeli VanLaanen jumps from 6th to 5th, which bumps Anais Caradeux down three spots to 6th, while Devin Logan, Annalisa Drew, Virginie Faivre and Roz Groenewoud continue to sit in 7th, 8th, 9th and 10 respectively. Also worth noting is Amy Sheehan (who made X Games finals for the first time in a few years) moving up two spots, from 14th to 12th.
McRae Williams (2nd), Nick Goepper (1st), Andreas Håtveit (3rd). Photo by Christian Pondella / ESPN Images
On the Men's Slopestyle front, Nick Goepper, who won his second gold medal in a row at X Games, and Gus Kenworthy, who placed fifth, continue to hold down the top two spots, while silver medalist McRae Williams has jumped up four spots, from 7th to 3rd, which moves Bobby Brown and Russ Henshaw down one spot each into 4th and 5th. Beyond the top 5, Joss Christensen has ascended two spots, from 8th to 6th, which bumps Alex Beaulieu-Marchand down a spot into 7th, Tom Wallisch has moved from 9th to 8th, James 'Woodsy' Woods has fallen four spots, from 5th to 9th, while Alex Schlopy and X Games bronze medalist Andreas Håtveit (who like Dumont has announced his retirement from the competition scene, albeit after the Olympics), continue to maintain 10th and 11th respectively. Outside of X Games, the first stop of the SFR Tour (which was slopestyle only) took place this past weekend in Val Thorens, France, where Oscar Wester picked up the win (which moves him from 24th to 20th), Jules Bonnaire placed second (which allows him to jump up 12 spots, from 36th to 24th), and David Bonneville took third (which moves him from 54th to 42nd).
Maggie Voisin (2nd), Kaya Turski (1st), Kim Lamarre (3rd). Photo by Christian Pondella / ESPN Images
In Women's Slopestyle, there are some major shake ups as well, beginning with the fact that we have a new leader, as Dara Howell's stellar season continued with a fourth place showing at X Games, which has allowed her to overtake the top spot. X Games silver medalist Maggie Voisin is now in 2nd, having moved up two spots from 4th, while Devin Logan has moved up two spots as well, from 5th to 3rd, which bumps Keri Herman down a spot into 4th. Also climbing the ladder significantly was Kim Lamarre, who has jumped up three spots, from 8th to 5th, while Tiril Christiansen (who is currently sidelined with a knee injury) has fallen five spots, from 1st to 6th, and Yuki Tsubota and Jamie Crane-Mauzy have both dropped one spot each to 7th and 8th. Rounding out the top 10 is Darian Stevens, who has climbed four spots, from 13th to 9th, and Katie Summerhayes, who has dropped one spot into 10th. Also very much worth noting is X Games gold medalist Kaya Turski moving from 15th to 14th, and Kelly Sildaru moving 11 spots up, from 44th to 33rd, thanks to her victory at the SFR Tour.
Vincent Gagnier (2nd), Henrik Harlaut (1st), Kai Mahler (3rd). Photo by Christian Pondella / ESPN Images
X Games hosted the first Big Air contest that's taken place on the AFP World Tour in a while, so needless to say, the top 10 has been shaken up, although Vincent Gagnier (who picked up the silver medal) continues to hold down his first place position, as does Elias Ambuhl in second. Beyond that though, Luca Tribondeau, who placed fourth at X and has been one of the most prolific big air skiers this season, has jumped eight spots, from 11th to 3rd, which bumps X Games gold medalist Henrik Harlaut, Gus Kenworthy, David Bonneville and Lars Bjorum all down a spot each into 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th respectively, while Alex Schlopy continues to hold down 8th as PK Hunder drops two spots into 9th and Christian Bieri falls one spot into 10th. Also worth noting is Alex Beaulieu-Marchand making a massive ascent, from 75th to 20th, as a result of his fifth place showing at X Games.
And last but not least, on the Men's Overall Rankings, Lyman Currier has moved up a spot into 2nd, which bumps Jossi Wells down a spot into 3rd, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand has jumped up 12 spots, from 15th to 7th, and Vincent Gagnier has moved up two spots, from 11th to 9th, which bumps Alex Schlopy into 10th. On the Women's side of things, the only change to the top 10 to report is Kaya Turski moving up two spots, from 11th to 9th, which bumps Katrien Aerts down a spot into 10th.
Stay tuned for more updates on the AFP World Rankings, as while many of the sport's top competitors are currently en route to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Polish Freeskiing Open and Canadian Open Tour (which are both Bronze-ranked events) are set to take place in the next week.