Whistler, BC was an appropriate place to end to the AFP World Tour this weekend – the home of the last winter Olympics hosted the AFP’s World Championships just three weeks after the IOC announced that halfpipe skiing will be an Olympic sport in 2014.
Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan claimed the top spots in the race to the Overall World Championship by scoring well in the events during the WSI/AFP Championships. The two Overall Champs, alongside the other podium athletes, claimed their AFP trophies in front of thousands of fans in Whistler’s center village. Event announcer Mike Atkinson remarked to the crowd, "What the Stanley Cup is to hockey and the PGA is to golf – that’s what this event and the AFP are to our sport."
2011 AFP Overall World Champions Gus Kenworthy & Devin Logan. Photo: Dan Brown
Overall Champions Gus Kenworthy could hardly contain his excitement about his Overall Championship status, "I did a ton of contests this year and worked as hard as I could to compete in as many disciplines as possible. I’m loving life right now, this is huge!"
Kenworthy and halfpipe perennial standout Simon Dumont have battled for the top spot in the Overall Standings throughout the 51-stop tour. Dumont put on a brilliant performance for the crowd, but in the end his results on the weekend were not enough for him to maintain his lead in the Overall standings. Kenworthy overtook him by scoring highly in all three disciplines, Big Air, Superpipe and Slopestyle during the four-day competition. France's Kevin Rolland and USA's Devin Logan took home halfpipe World Championships, while USA's Bobby Brown and Canada's Kaya Turksi are the World Champions of Slopestyle and Switzerland's Elias Ambuhl was crowned the Big Air World Champion.
2011 AFP Men's Superpipe Champion Kevin Rolland. Photo: Dan Brown
2011 AFP Women's Superpipe Champion Devin Logan. Photo: Jeff Schmuck
2011 AFP Men's Slopestyle Champion Bobby Brown. Photo: Rocky Maloney
2011 AFP Women's Slopestyle Champion Kaya Turski. Photo: Felix Rioux
2011 AFP Men's Big Air Champion Elias Ambuhl. Photo: Jeff Schmuck
The AFP World Championships were held on the heels of the historic announcement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that ski halfpipe is an official event at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. This exciting news has had athletes and fans buzzing as the 2010/2011 competition season came to a close with the AFP World Championships. "At the AFP we couldn’t be more excited, our sport is finally represented in the Olympics and we just finished the final event in our massive season. It’s a great time for freeskiing, the sport is poised for explosive growth and the AFP is in the position to help foster that growth as well as communicate the sport and these tremendous athletes to the world," stated AFP Co-Founder and President Chis Schuster.
Photo: Jeff Schmuck
The AFP acts as a governing body for freeskiing, providing measurable results and structure and continues to push for growth on the professional level. In freeskiing’s Olympic debut, the AFP world rankings, the only global ranking of its kind, will likely play a part in the selection of the field of competitors. In January, the AFP World Ranking was used by many National Governing Bodies to select the teams that represented their countries at the FIS World Championships, which took place this past February in Park City, Utah.
"Since I’ve started competing, the level of skiing has never been higher than it is now," said Simon Dumont, who is also an AFP board member, and past AFP Men’s Overall Champion. "We’ve got kids like, Torin Yater-Wallace, who is only 15-years-old and just bursting onto the scene. It makes sense for us to compete on the biggest world stage there is."
Simon Dumont, Gus Kenworthy, Devin Logan, Keri Herman & Dania Assaly. Photo: Dan Brown
For more information on upcoming events and news and to see the complete overall 2011 rankings, visit http://afpworldtour.com.