A recap of 2013/14 FIS Freestyle Skiing season and the crystal globe winners
An unpredictable, entertaining, and ultimately thrilling 2013/14 FIS Freestyle World Cup season came to a close last weekend with moguls and ski cross World Cup finals in La Plagne (FRA). With nearly 700 athletes from 43 nations competing in World Cup events in 2013/14, an incredible Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and hard-fought for the 12 crystal globes, the season will go down as one of FIS Freestyle Skiing's most memorable.
Below is an overview of the season's biggest winners.
1. Hannah Kearney (MO - USA) – 77
2. Li Nina (AE - CHN) – 71
3. Justine Dufour-Lapointe (MO - CAN) – 70
For the third time in the last four seasons, Hannah Kearney was the most dominant athlete. The race for the overall crystal globe came down to the finals in La Plagne, where Kearney took victory. Dufour-Lapointe's disappointing result (9th place) dropped her down to third place based, with top aerialist Li Nina sliding into second place.
1. Mikael Kingsbury (MO - CAN) – 81
2. Alex Bilodeau (MO - CAN) – 80
3. Jesper Tjader (SS – SWE) – 65
It was the third straight overall title for Mikael Kingsbury, as the 21-year-old Canadian continued a torrid pace that has seen him miss the podium only five times over the course of the past three seasons and already secured the globe before the finals ahead of his strongest competitor Alex Bilodeau. Third place in the overall standings went to 19-year-old slopestyle skier Jesper Tjader, who won the season's final event in Silvaplana (SUI).
1. Marielle Thompson (CAN) – 755
2. Fanny Smith (SUI) – 730
3. Ophelie David (FRA) – 572
It was a Hollywood ending, as the ladies' ski cross World Cup title came down to the last heat of the last race of the 2013/14 season. Olympic champion Marielle Thompson entered the final race only five points ahead of rival Fanny Smith and took victory to claim her second crystal globe in three seasons. Meanwhile, Ophelie David turned in another incredible season to take third place at 37 years of age.
1. Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE) – 494
2. Andreas Matt (AUT) – 482
3. Daniel Bohnacker (GER) – 399
Like the ladies, the men's final featured a too-close-to-call battle for the crystal globe and drama over how it was earned. Victor Oehling Norberg lost a ski while leading his quarter final heat and was out of the race. Needing only to finish third or better in his quarter final heat to take the globe, it looked as if the 2013/14 title would go to Andreas Matt (AUT) who got caught up in the soft snow bumping him to fourth in the heat. With that result his title hopes were dashed. Daniel Bohnacker established himself as a ski cross force with several top five results and third place on the season.
1. Hannah Kearney (USA) – 850
2. Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) – 774
3. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) – 521
Hannah Kearney and Justine Dufour-Lapointe went back-and-forth at the top of the moguls leaderboard all season, as Justine provided the first true threat to Kearney's World Cup dominance since 2009/2010. While the incredible Kearney was able to prevail, Justine's Sochi 2014 gold medal and eight podiums during the season were proof enough that a new star has emerged on the moguls tour, not forgettingher sisters Chloe and Maxime who ended up third and fourth on the leader board.
1. Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) – 890
2. Alex Bilodeau (CAN) – 879
3. Patrick Deneen (USA) – 443
Mikael Kingsbury scored more points than any other athlete in Freestyle Skiing this season, taking a place on the podium in nine out of 11 events and never finishing lower than sixth. The season-long battle between him and his teammate and mentor Alex Bilodeau was impressive. In Sochi, Bilodeau was able to edge Kingsbury and claim his second straight gold medal in one of the great competitions of the Games. Patrick Deneen finished third on the season for the second straight year.
1. Li Nina (CHN) – 35
2. Zhang Xin (CHN) – 316
3. Xu Mengtao (CHN) – 246
It was a Chinese sweep at the top of the 2013/14 aerials World Cup rankings powered by the return to competition of Li Nina who registered three podiums and scored in the top 10 in every event. Zhang Xin scored four podiums out of five events, but a 15th place finish at the year's first event was the difference between the crystal globe and second place. 2011/12 and 2012/13 title winner Xu Mengtao had some difficulty finding her landings, but still managed two podiums, third place on the World Cup, and the Sochi 2014 silver medal.
1. Liu Zongqing (CHN) – 308
2. Qi Guangpu (CHN) – 268
3. Anton Kushnir (BLR) – 243
Chinese veteran Liu Zongqing stepped it up in 2013/14, registering his most successful World Cup campaign in his 11th season. Liu's two victories and a second place were enough to give him the title ahead of his teammate and 2013 World Champion Qi Guangpu,. Third place went to Anton Kushnir who scored two World Cup podiums in 2013/14, saving his best of the season for last when he threw down one of the most difficult jumps ever seen in competition to claim the Sochi 2014 aerials gold medal.
1. Lisa Zimmermann (GER) – 305
2. Emma Dahlstrom (SWE) – 196
3. Dara Howell (CAN) – 180
17 year-old Lisa Zimmermann ran away with the ski slopestyle, scoring in the top five in every event and earning three podiums – a third place and two victories. Emma Dahlstrom claimed two podiums in 2013/14 that were just enough to keep her clear of Sochi 2014 ski slopestyle gold medalist Dara Howell, who took third with a win and a second place to her name.
1. Jesper Tjader (SWE) – 325
2. Nicholas Goepper (USA) – 22
3. Bobby Brown (USA) – 145
Young Swede Jesper Tjader entered the final ski slopestyle event of the season needing only to score a single point to jump ahead of Olympic bronze medalist Nick Goepper and claim the 2013/14 crystal globe. He won the competition, giving him his third podium of the season. Behind Goepper was the fourth member of the Sochi 2014 podium-sweeping U.S. ski slopestyle team, Bobby Brown.
1. Devin Logan (USA) – 186
2. Maddie Bowman (USA) – 180
3. Amy Sheehan (AUS) – 170
While Devin Logan won the 2013/14 crystal globe, she was actually left off of the stacked U.S. Olympic halfpipe team, and only represented the U.S. in slopestyle. Logan won the first halfpipe event of the season in Cardrona (NZL) and scored two more top 10s to edge her teammate and eventual Olympic gold medal-winner Maddie Bowman in the battle for the title. Amy Sheehan, had the best World Cup season of her career, with her first and second career podiums helping her take third place in the standings.
1. Justin Dorey (CAN) – 212
2. Aaron Blunck (USA) – 180
3. Mike Riddle (CAN) – 145
Halfpipe veteran Justin Dorey took top honours in 2013/14, with a season highlighted by a World Cup win on home soil in Calgary and two other top-10 finishes. With a first and a second place finish in his first two World Cup events of the season, Aaron Blunck seemed on his way to claiming the globe until a tough competition in Breckenridge (USA)derailed his efforts. 2012/13 globe winner Third-placed Mike Riddle sat out the Calgary contest to rest up for the Olympics which led him to a silver medal.
Led by their Nations Cup-winning moguls team, the Canadians claimed the 2013/14 Freestyle Skiing Nations Cup ahead of the United States and Switzerland.