Words: Jeff Schmuck
The AFP World Tour is in full swing in a big, big way, as four major events took place over the course of the last week, including the second stop of The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series in Whistler, BC (which was a Gold-ranked event), a FIS World Cup in Gstaad, Switzerland (which was also Gold), and the back-to-back U.S. Grand Prix's in Park City, Utah (which were both Platinum-ranked events and the final Olympic Qualifier), where the first ever US Freeskiing Olympic Team was unveiled.
As a result, the AFP World Rankings have been shaken up, so here's a look at where things stand as we head into the biggest event of the year on the AFP World Tour, X Games in Aspen, Colorado…
Gus Kenworthy (3rd), Lyman Currier (1st), Aaron Blunck (2nd) at the second of back-to-back halfpipe events at the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of US Freeskiing
In Men's Halfpipe, David Wise is still holding on to the top spot, while Aaron Blunck has once again re-claimed 2nd following his fifth and second place performances at the Grand Prix, which also secured him a spot on the US Olympic Team. Also moving on up a tick (from 7th to 6th) courtesy of his third place finish was Gus Kenworthy, while Lyman Currier continued his impressive breakout season by placing 3rd and 1st, which bumped him up eight spots (from 15th to 7th) along with scoring him a spot on the US Olympic Team.
Devin Logan (3rd), Angeli VanLaanen (1st), Brita Sigourney (2nd) at the second of back-to-back halfpipe events at the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of US Freeskiing
On the women's side of things, Maddie Bowman continues to reign supreme in 1st following her victory at the first of the two Grand Prix's, while Brita Sigourney has jumped from 4th to 2nd (along with punching her ticket to Sochi) as a result of her silver medal performance at the second of the back-to-back events, which bumps Ayana Onozuka into 4th and leaves Anais Caradeux (who placed third at the first even) in 3rd. Meanwhile, Angeli VanLaanen (who is also Sochi-bound) has jumped from 9th to 6th following her victory in the second event, and Marie Martinod and Devin Logan have each moved up a spot (Martinod is now in 5th and Logan is now in 7th) as a result of their respective third place finishes.
Bobby Brown (3rd), Joss Christensen (1st), Gus Kenworthy (2nd) at the second of back-to-back slopestyle events at the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of US Freeskiing
In Men's Slopestyle, a lot went down over the course of the four events (as The North Face Park and Pipe Open and Gstaad World Cup were slopestyle-only), but Nick Goepper, despite not competing this past weekend, continues to hold down the top spot heading into this week's X Games. Beyond that, there were some mild shake ups in the top 10, as Gus Kenworthy (who placed 3rd and 2nd at the Grand Prix's) and Bobby Brown (who placed 2nd and 3rd) have both moved up a spot (along with earning themselves tickets to Sochi) into 2nd and 3rd respectively, which bumps Russ Henshaw, James Woods, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and McRae Williams all down a spot. Joss Christensen has overtaken 8th as a result of his victory at the second Grand Prix, bumping Tom Wallisch into 9th, and Alex Schlopy's victory at the first event of two has allowed him to maintain his position in 10th. Also worth noting is Jossi Wells moving from 19th to 16th and Jesper Tjader moving from 18th to 17th as a result of their first and second place showings at the Gstaad World Cup, and Evan McEachran jumping up a spot (from 30th to 29th) after taking home the Canadian bacon at The North Face Park and Pipe Open in Whistler.
Kaya Turski (3rd), Devin Logan (1st), Dara Howell (2nd) at the first of back-to-back slopestyle events at the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of US Freeskiing
In Women's Slopestyle, Tiril Christiansen and Dara Howell (who made dual podium appearances (2nd and 3rd) at the Grand Prix's and scored herself a spot on Canada's Olympic Team) continue to hold down 1st and 2nd, but Keri Herman (who placed 8th and 2nd and is Sochi-bound as well) has overtaken 3rd from Maggie Voisin, who is now in 4th. Devin Logan's victory at the first event allowed her to continue her steady climb up the rankings by ascending two spots (from 7th to 5th, with a spot on the Olympic Team to boot), which bumps Jamie Crane-Mauzy from 5th to 7th (while recently named Canadian Olympian Yuki Tsubota continues to reside in 6th). Other notable movements include Julia Krass jumping from 16th to 10th as a result of her win in the second Grand Prix, Kaya Turski placing third at the first Grand Prix during her return to competition following a knee injury and moving from 19th to 14th, Lisa Zimmerman maintaining her 11th place ranking thanks to her win at the Gstaad World Cup, and Anouk Purnelle-Faniel getting on the board in 60th thanks to her victory at The North Face Park and Pipe Open.
In Men's Overall, Gus Kenworthy, Jossi Wells and Lyman Currier are still holding down the top three, while Beau James-Wells has overtaken 4th from Aaron Blunck (who is now in 5th), Joss Christensen has moved from 7th to 6th and Alex Schlopy has moved from 11th to 9th. In Women's Overall, the top three remain the same (with Devin Logan in 1st, Jamie Crane-Mauzy in 2nd and Keri Herman in 3rd), while Tiril Christiansen (who is currently sidelined with a knee injury) has been bumped to 7th, which has allowed Julia Krass and Isabel Atkin to take over the 5th and 6th place spots.
That's all for now from the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, but stay tuned for what's sure to be another major update to the AFP World Rankings following the biggest event of them all, X Games, which kicks off on Wednesday in beautiful Aspen, Colorado.