On the heels of the biggest event of the year, the Plantinum-ranked X Games in Aspen, Colorado, and the recently Gold-ranked FIS World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria, it's time for a recap on one of the most significant shake-ups on the 2015 AFP World Tour Rankings…
X Games Men's Halfpipe Podium: Kevin Rolland (2nd), Simon D'Artois (1st), Alex Ferreira (3rd). Photo by Kaitlyn Egan / ESPN Images
In Men's Halfpipe, the dark horse Simon D'Artois won his first ever X Games medal by picking up the win in the Cinderella story of the event, which has allowed him to move from 8th to 2nd on the Men's Halfpipe Rankings. In second was Kevin Rolland, who is now in 2nd, and third place finisher (for the second year in a row) Alex Ferreira is your new leader in 1st thanks to his trio of top 5 performances this season. Also worth noting from X Games is Taylor Seaton's 11th place showing allowing him to jump six spots up, from 10th to 4th, and heavy hitters Mike Riddle, David Wise and Gus Kenworthy falling to 13th, 14th and 18th respectively after placing eighth, fourth and fifth, due to the fact that there have been less Platinum-ranked events this year than last (during the Road to Sochi), and their previous results have dropped off due to the 52-week rolling system.
FIS World Championship Men's Halfpipe Podium: Yannic Lergen (3rd), Kyle Smaine (1st), Joffrey Pollet-Villard (2nd). Photo courtesy of FIS Freestyle Sking
At FIS World Championships, Kyle Smaine scored the biggest victory of his career, which prompted the largest ascent on the Men's Halfpipe Rankings, from 18th to 5th, Joffrey-Pollet Villard's second place showing has allowed him to climb from 65th to 29th after having to sit out most of last year with a blown knee, while third and fourth place finishers Yannic Lergen and Broby Leeds have jumped from 12th to 11th and 13th to 8th, respectively.
X Games Women's Halfpipe Podium: Ayana Onozuka (2nd), Maddie Bowman (1st), Brita Sigourney (3rd). Photo by Flip McCririck / ESPN Images
In Women's Halfpipe, despite three-peating at X Games, Maddie Bowman is now in 16th due to the aforementioned lack of Platinum-ranked events and results this year in comparison to last, silver medalist Ayana Onozuka (her first X Games medal) is up five spots, from 13th to 8th, bronze medalist Brita Sigourney is now in 9th, and Annalisa Drew continues to hold down the top spot after placing sixth in Aspen, complemented by her duo of podium appearances this winter.
FIS World Championship Women's Halfpipe Podium: Mirjam Jaeger (3rd), Virginie Faivre (1st), Cassie Sharpe (2nd). Photo courtesy of FIS Freestyle Sking
At FIS World Championships, Virginie Faivre is up 13 spots, from 25th to 12th, after picking up the win, Cassie Sharpe continued to impressively climb the ladder from 11th to 7th by taking second, the always consistent Mirjam Jaeger remains in 44th after scoring third, and Anais Caradeux drops one spot, from 5th to 4th, after placing fourth.
X Games Men's Slopestyle Podium: Joss Christensen (2nd), Nick Goepper (1st), Alex Bellemare (3rd). Photo by Christian Pondella / ESPN Images
In Men's Slopestyle, Nick Goepper's three-peat at X Games moves him from 30th to 22nd, Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen finished second, but is now in 33rd due to his last year's results dropping off, and bronze medalist Alex Bellemare is up five spots, from 9th to 4th. Also worth noting from X Games is Evan McEachran moving into 2nd from 6th after taking 14th, and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and Henrik Harlaut receiving an equal amount of points from the event via tying for eighth in the rankings, as Marchand placed eighth in the Elimination round but was unable to compete in Finals due to a knee injury, which ultimately saw Harlaut end up in eighth during Finals following a scary crash (in which he broke his collarbone) on his first run, which places them in 83rd and 74th respectively (once again, due to last year's Platinum-ranked event results dropping off). The decision to give them an equal amount of points for X Games was made following consultation with the AFP Founders, Advisory Board, Athlete Representatives along with Alex and Henrik themselves (along with their coaches), all of whom agreed this was the fairest course of action and in the best interest of the athletes.
FIS World Championships Men's Slopestyle Podium: Russ Henshaw (2nd), Fabian Bosch (1st), Noah Wallace (3rd). Photo courtesy of FIS Freestyle Sking
At FIS World Championships, Fabian Bosch is up 15 spots, from 69th to 54th after claiming victory, the always consistent Russ Henshaw is up three, from 98th to 95th, after placing second, and rising star Noah Wallace is up three, from 13th to 10th.
X Games Women's Slopestyle Podium: Keri Herman (2nd...not pictured due to injury), Emma Dahlstrom (1st), Dara Howell (3rd). Photo by Jeff Schmuck
In Women's Slopestyle, Emma Dahlstrom scored her first X Games gold medal, which has bumped her from 13th to 4th, silver medalist Keri Herman is now in 19th due to her results from last year dropping off, and Olympic gold medalist Dara Howell took home the bronze, but is now in 24th for the same reasons as Keri.
FIS World Championships Women's Slopestyle Podium: Katie Summerhayes (2nd), Lisa Zimmerman (1st), Zuzana Stromkova (3rd). Photo courtesy of FIS Freestyle Sking
At FIS World Championships, Lisa Zimmerman picked up the win, which has allowed her to jump from 40th to 33rd, Katie Summerhayes took second to move from 18th to 13th, and Zuzana Stromkova is up from 39th to 28th after taking the third and final step on the podium. In addition to all of that, we have a new leader on the Women's Slopestyle Rankings, as Nikki Blackall's sixth place performance at X Games and more recent (and impressive) results have allowed her to take over the top spot, while her teammate Anouk Purnelle-Faniel (who placed seventh in Aspen) is hot on her heels in second.
X Games Men's Big Air Podium: Bobby Brown (2nd), Vincent Gagnier (1st), Elias Ambuhl (3rd). Photo by Flip McCririck / ESPN Images
In Men's Big Air, X Games gold medalst Vincent Gagnier is now in second, silver medalist Bobby Brown has jumped from 26th to 10th, and bronze medalist Elias Ambuhl is up one spot, from 7th to 6th, while Jesper Tjader (who placed 5th at X Games and podiumed at every Big Air event in the last 52 weeks) is now in 1st.
On the Men's Overall Rankings, Gus Kenworthy continues to hold down a vice grip on the top spot, but Simon D'Artois' victory in Halfpipe at X Games has put him not far behind in 2nd, while Bobby Brown pulling double duty in Aspen has moved him from 8th to 3rd. On the Women's side of things, Jamie Crane-Mauzy has overtaken the lead (thanks to her dual 13th place finishes at FIS World Championships), Cassie Sharpe is up one spot into 2nd, and Kelly Sildaru has moved one spot up as well to crack the top 3.
That's all for now from the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, but stay tuned for another update early next week following the second of three Platinum-ranked U.S. Grand Prix's, which is currently taking place at Mammoth Mountain, California and will surely have a major impact on the AFP World Tour Rankings.