Highlights of the FIS Snowboard World Cup season 2016/17

10 May 2017 13:57
Laax returns to the Snowboard World Cup circuit
Laax returns to the Snowboard World Cup circuit -
Miha Matavz

A season to remember

With the 2016/17 FIS World Cup season already counting towards the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games qualifying process, the past winter attracted the world's best to compete in various events as well as the World Championships staged in Sierra Nevada (ESP).

In total, 36 World Cup competitions took place at 24 World Cup venues in 13 different countries with Bokwang Phoenix Park Resort (PGS and half pipe) as well as Alpensia (big air) hosting the final Olympic test events for the sport's pinnacle event next season.

In addition, resorts and/or cities like Seiser Alm (ITA), Bansko (BUL), Solitude (USA) and Moenchengladbach (GER) had successful debuts as World Cup Organisers. The inaugural big air Super Series saw a three-stop tour within the World Cup with events in Milan (ITA), Moenchengladbach (GER) and Quebec City (CAN).

Laax (SUI) also celebrated a much-noticed comeback after being absent from the FIS World Cup tour for 15 years.

Biggest winner

One of the season’s biggest winners was Chloe Kim (USA). The 16-year-old halfpipe sensation won all three World Cup competitions she competed in, making her a strong contender for the gold medal in PyeongChang 2018.

Anna Gasser (AUT), who was absent from the World Cup tour for more than two and a half years, entered eight events and finished seven times on the podium of which five were wins.

As a result, she took home the big air as well as the Snowboard freestyle overall globes. At the World Championships in Sierra Nevada, she flew to gold in big air, becoming the first female to land a backside double cork 1080 in a contest.

Best storyline

Following a slow start to the season, 2014 Olympic Champion Pierre Vaultier (FRA) won three of the last four snowboard cross World Cup races to take home the crystal globe for the fifth time in his career. In addition, the 29-year-old won his first gold medal at World Championships.

Best newcomer

The snowboard cross tour also featured one of the best rookies. 19-year-old Adam Lambert (AUS) won the men’s overall Europa Cup title and placed sixth at the FIS World Championships.

On the ladies’ Snowboard alpine side, 19-year-old Daniela Ulbing (AUT) claimed her maiden World Cup victory on home snow in Bad Gastein and after a picture perfect season, she crowned her winter with the PSL crystal globe and PSL gold at World Championships.

Another shooting star was New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski Synnott who not only finished ninth in her first ever World Cup event at the big air Copper Mountain (USA), but also celebrated two podium finishes with the slopestyle win at the season's finals in Spindleruv Mlyn (CZE). The 16-year-old Kiwi also shocked the scene by taking home slopestyle silver from the FIS World Championships.

Top social media post

Olympic Champion Eva Samkova (CZE) and her hunt for glory in the second snowboard cross race in Feldberg (GER) reached more than 1.4 million people on Facebook with the video being watched more than 535,000 times.