Words by AFP & Jeff Schmuck
Photos by Nadia Samer
At the conclusion of the AFP World Championships during the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC, the Association of Freeskiing Professionals invited athletes and industry types to the Bearfoot Bistro on Sunday evening for the AFP Awards. The event (much like the meal) was more of a formal affair, with casual clothing traded in for dresses and suits, and the entire AFP staff was on hand to honor and present the 2012 Champions.
Photo by Shay Williams/Freeskier
The AFP Awards
The Association of Freeskiing Professionals: Chris Schuster, Eric Zerrenner, Mike Atkinson, Brian Schroy, Michael Spencer, Chris Jerard, Steele Spence and Phil Larose. Photo by Shay Williams/Freeskier
In Big Air, Gus Kenworthy was announced as the 2011/2012 Big Air World Champion. Gus has had an incredible season, recently winning the Jon Olsson Invitational with a switch triple 1440 and taking gold at Saturday night's AFP World Championships Big Air with a double cork 1620. His efforts put him at the top of the World Rankings with 3666.17 points.
2011/2012 Big Air World Champion Gus Kenworthy
“I really liked the jump and the landing was super soft so I knew I wanted to throw that 16,” said Kenworthy. “The energy at the event was incredible. I was able to feed off that energy, do the best that I could and come up on top.”
Bobby Brown - Big Air 2nd Place
Photo by John Vandervalk
Going into the AFP World Championships Kai Mahler was in the lead of the World Rankings, but he was bumped to 3rd as a result of his 8th place finish in Whistler. Bobby Brown (who was not present for the awards) was able to jump from 7th to 2nd based on his 4th place result on Saturday night. We also have seen some impressive late scores out of Vincent Gagnier, who took second place at JOI and the AFP World Championships Big Air.
Kai Mahler - Big Air 3rd Place
In men's slopestyle, to no one's surprise, Tom Wallisch is the 2011/2012 Men’s Slopestyle World Champion. Tom received 5273.04 points this season, with podium results at Winter X Games, X Games Europe, Grand Prix Mammoth and all three Dew Tours.
2011/2012 Men's Slopestyle World Champion Tom Wallisch
“I am so stoked on my season,” said Wallisch. “I skied the best I have ever skied and now I have the title to prove it. Men’s Slopestyle World Champion is the highest achievement that I can get in one winter and I am so excited. I am glad the judges liked the way I skied”.
Bobby Brown and Nick Goepper had an extremely close battle for the 2nd place World Ranking. Bobby could have overthrown Nick if he beat him in last week's competition and scored above 5th place. Bobby beat Nick but finished in 6th, allowing Goepper to maintain his number 2 position with Brown in 3rd. Gus Kenworthy advanced to 4th, bumping Andreas Håtveit into 6th. Russ Henshaw also advanced, moving from 6th to 5th.
Nick Goepper - Men's Slopestyle 2nd Place
“It is dream come true,” said Goepper. “Last year I had no idea I would be in this position this year and it is so crazy. I am super stoked to be in the top three in slopestyle.”
On the women's slopestyle side of things, Kaya Turski (who was also not present for the awards) became the 2011/2012 Women’s Slopestyle World Champion after earning 5,700 points throughout the winter, winning five Platinum level events in a row. This is Kaya’s fourth straight season being named Women’s Slopestyle World Champion.
2011/2012 Women's Slopestyle World Champion Kaya Turski
Photo by Jeff Schmuck
“I'm so excited and proud to be honored the top spot in the AFP Women’s Slopestyle ranking,” said Kaya. “It’s amazing to be part of the sport at such a progressive time and I'm so proud of all the girls who have come so far.”
Anna Segal - Women's Slopestyle 2nd Place
After the AFP World Championships Slopestyle Finals, Anna Segal jumped from 5th to 2nd in the World Rankings, bumping Devin Logan into 3rd. Dara Howell dropped down to 5th and Emilia Wint held on to her 4th place position. All the women skied incredibly well and should be very proud of their season finishes.
Devin Logan - Women's Slopestyle 3rd place
In men's halfpipe, Torin Yater-Wallace was awarded the honor of 2011/2012 Men’s Halfpipe World Champion following his podium finishes at Platinum level events throughout the year, including gold medals at the Killington Dew Tour and X Games Europe.
2011/2012 Men's Halfpipe World Champion Torin Yater-Wallace
“I’m so stoked to receive this award,” said Yater-Wallace. “This is unbelievable and a dream come true”
David Wise - Men's Halfpipe 2nd Place
Heading into the AFP World Championships David Wise and Torin Yater-Wallace were 28 points apart. Wise unfortunately hurt his leg during big air and was unable to compete in pipe. As a result, Yater-Wallace was able to secure the lead, while Thomas Krief jumped from 4th to 3rd in the World Rankings as a result of placing 2nd in Sunday's event.
Thomas Krief - Men's Halfpipe 3rd Place
In women's halfpipe, Rosalind Groenewoud became the 2011/2012 Women’s Halfpipe World Champion thanks to her incredible season, which consisted of her winning major events such as X Games and X Games Europe.
2011/2012 Women's Halfpipe World Champion Rosalind Groenewoud
“I am super happy to be part of the female freeskiing industry this year,” said Groenewoud. “Sarah’s legacy has definitely been felt. I have seen so many girls pushing themselves, doing their personal bests.”
Maddie Bowman - Women's Halfpipe 2nd Place
Maddie Bowman made a solid jump into 2nd in the Halfpipe World Rankings following Sunday's AFP World Championships Superpipe Finals, and if Groenewoud had not received the bronze medal at the event she would have been bumped out of the top spot. Anais Caradeux also made a solid jump in the rankings, from 5th to 3rd.
Anais Caradeux - Women's Halfpipe 3rd Place
And last but certainly not least, the AFP is truly honored to announce Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan as the first recipients of the Sarah Burke Trophy. The Sarah Burke Trophy is the most prestigious award in skiing, awarded to the male and female with the highest Overall World Ranking. Competing in all disciplines of freeskiing is an incredible talent that Burke always possessed.
Rory Bushfield & Trennon Paynter present the Sarah Burke Trophy to Gus Kenworthy & Devin Logan
Gus Kenworthy had 23 top five finishes this season. He competed more than anyone and was rewarded for doing so. This is Kenworthy’s second year in a row winning the title of Overall World Champion.
2011/2012 Men's Overall World Champion Gus Kenworthy
“I am honored to accept this award,” said Kenworthy. “Sarah’s legacy will never be forgotten. She did so much for the sport and she was so inspiring. I just feel really honored that this is named after her and that I can accept this award.”
2011/2012 Women's Overall World Champion Devin Logan
Photo by Shay Williams/Freeskier
Devin Logan also had an outstanding season, scoring in the top 5 in nearly every event she competed in. Unfortunately, Devin hurt her ankle during the Women’s Slopestyle at the AFP World Championships and was unable to compete in superpipe.
2011/2012 Men's & Women's Overall World Champions Gus Kenworthy & Devin Logan
Following the awards ceremony, the partying commenced, as everyone celebrated the end of the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival, the 2011/2012 competition season, the freshly crowned AFP Champions, and most of all, the life and legacy of the incredible Sarah Burke.
Josh Bibby, Reed Speedman and Ian 'Chug' Cosco
Jossi Wells, Max Hill, PK Hunder and Russ Henshaw
On behalf of everyone at the Association of Freeskiing Professionals and Newschoolers, big thanks to the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival and Whistler Blackcomb for putting on an amazing event to cap off the season, congratulations to all of the 2011/2012 AFP Champions, and for more information on AFP, be sure to check out afpworldtour.com.