Herman and Woods best in Ushuaia
The first qualifying event for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in the new Olympic event of ski slopestyle was held at Cerro Castor, Ushuaia, Argentina with great success on Friday 7th September. Fifty-six skiers from 16 nations traveled to the end of the world (as Ushuaia is known as the most southern city of the globe), to compete in the first FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup slopestyle event of the season.
The competitions were part of the "End of the World Challenge" which also featured the first slopestyle Super Continental Cup in South American history.
In the World Cup event , the men's podium was topped by Brit James Woods, followed by 21-year-old Henrik Harlaut of Sweden whilst 18-year-old Swiss Jonas Hunziker completed the top three. This was the first World Cup win for Great Britain in Freestyle Skiing since 1992, and the first in any FIS discipline since 2004.
In the ladies’ competition, American Keri Herman took the victory ahead of Swiss Eveline Bhend and 17-year-old Canadian Dara Howell. Herman won by a huge six-point margin to mark her first podium since 2011.
The competition was held in optimal snow and weather conditions on a challenging track built by the Swede Claes Hagstrom. Feedback from the athletes on the first Freestyle Ski World Cup in the Tierra del Fuogo was very positive.
The Olympic qualifying period provides individual athletes with opportunity to achieve required international ranking in order to be eligible for Olympic selection and helps the nations earn the maximum number of quota spots. The selection of individual athletes to fill those quota spots will be a decision of the respective National Olympic Committee. The next chance for athletes to qualify in ski slopestyle will be Jan. 11, 2013 at Copper Mountain, CO, USA.