FIS Freestyle World Cup season comes to a close with Voss-Myrkdalen big airs
Voss-Myrkdalen, NOR - And just like that, the 2016/17 FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup season is over after back-to-back big air competitions on Friday and Saturday in Norway’s Myrkdalen resort. Emma Dahlstrom (SWE) took the win in both of the ladies’ contests on her way to claiming the first-ever FIS Freestyle ladies’ big air crystal globe, while the men’s wins were split between Norwegians Christian Nummedal on Friday and Birk Ruud on Saturday, while Henrik Harlaut would claim the men’s big air overall World Cup title and crystal globe off the strength of a sixth-place and a fourth-place finish in this weekends two competitions.
This season was the first to feature a full big air World Cup program, with six World Cup competitions in total, beginning with the season opener in El Colorado, Chile, followed by the three Super Series city events, and concluding finally with this weekend’s pair of events in Norway.
Dahlstrom and Harlaut both won at that season-opener in El Colorado, giving themselves leads on the rest of the field that they would not relinquish at any point over the course of the season on their way to winning the globes.
Dahlstrom finished the campaign with three wins, five total podiums and 453 points in six contest to best the 360 points of Silvia Bertagna (ITA) and the 225 of Mathilde Gremaud (SUI). Harlaut, meanwhile, would earn two wins, a runner-up and 394 points in the six events, putting himself above Ruud’s 251 points and Oystein Braaten’s (NOR) 242.
"It's freaking awesome to be the big air World Cup winner," said a smiling Dahlstrom from the finish area on Saturday, "This is the second globe to add to my collection, and I've worked so hard for this. I was just telling the other girls, you travel so many miles to get one of these and I'm so honoured and grateful."
Harlaut was similarly stoked with his triumph.
"It's amazing," he said, "Like Emma was saying, I've been to a lot of places this season, a lot of travel and work to make this come true, and I'm really happy to be presented with the globe."
This weekend’s competitions in Voss-Myrkdalen saw some heavy hitting going down on the smooth Norwegian big air set - at least, once the weather cooperated and allowed the athletes to really go off on Saturday.
Friday’s contest, however, saw some heavy snow throughout the day, making it tough for the riders to find the speed necessary for their top tricks. Still, Dahlstrom was able to stomp a pair of big 720s to earn a two-jump score of 171.20 points to best Bertagna’s 160.00 and take the ladies’ win, with 18-year-old Tora Johansen scoring her first career podium in third.
In the men's competition, Nummedal somehow found the speed to send a left-side triple corked 1620 safety grab nearly to the bottom of the landing on his way to earning a score 177.80 and the first win of the weekend. Nummedal lead a Norwegian sweep of Friday's podium, with his 16-year-old countryman Ruud taking second and their teammate Ferdinand Dahl taking third.
If Friday was a nice appetizer, Saturday’s main course in Voss-Myrkdalen was a true feast, with triples coming fast and furious in the men’s competition and some stylish 900s and 720 variations on the ladies’ side.
Dahlstrom would take her second win on the weekend with a sweet switch left 720 double Japan and a corked 720 reverse Japan, earning a score of 174.40 to once again edge Bertagna and her score of 170.60. Kea Kuehnel (GER) rounded out the final podium of the season in third with a score of 129.60.
For the men, Ruud would do one better than this runner-up performance from Friday, earning a score of 189.80 and his first World Cup victory with a triple corked left side 1080 safety and a massive right side triple 1440 safety. Antoine Adelisse (FRA) scored 187.40, second on the day and the first podium of his career with a performance that included a switch right triple corked 1260 safety, while Feliz Stridsberg-Usterud (NOR) returned to the podium for the first time in two years in third place with a score of 181.20.