Time to decide: The Overall World Cup Title goes to...
The moment we all have waited for: FIS Freestyle World Cup Finals will take place in Voss-Myrkdalen. Voss will host a thrilling weekend of events for the very best moguls skiers as well as ski crossers. In addition to the World Cup title within a specific discipline, there's also the Overall World Cup and Overall Nations Cup being handed out. Who the persons holding the prestigious FIS World Cup Trophy will be, is yet to be decided. Or is it?
Being the overall World Cup winner is one of the highest recognition you can achieve within your sport. During the last 4 months, the best Freestyle athletes have competed in aerials, moguls, ski cross and half pipe. There have been tears of joy, athletes quitting, great atmosphere, freezing cold degrees but most of all; top sports performances and excitement about who will be the best skier throughout the season.
In aerials, there was a total of 16 competitions, 8 for men and 8 for ladies. As no surprise, the Chinese team dominated most of the competitions with perfect jumps, acrobatique and elegance. Shuang Cheng could celebrate the World Cup title, winning with 22 points ahead of her team mate, Mengtao Xu. Olga Volkova (UKR) was ranked third, with 343 points. With two stage victories and being the current World Ski Champion, the 23 year old, Shuang Cheng can look back on a highly successful season. In the men's competitions, silver medaillist from Deer Valley, Guangpu Qi won the overall World Cup. Anton Kushnir (BLR) came second, and the well known Renato Ulrich (SUI) came third.
Over to moguls, where it doesn't help just being a good skier, you need to have speed, good technique and set the nicest tricks. In the ladies season, there's been one dominant skier this year, and she truly deserve her World Cup Title; Hannah Kearney from USA. Leading with 277 points ahead of Jennifer Heil (CAN) and 488 points to Audrey Robichaud (CAN), there is no doubt that Kearney is the queen of moguls skiing this year. With 8 World Cup wins, one second place, and a silver and a bronze from the Championships in Deer Valley - noone has been close to have the same kind of success as Kearney.
And then it was the men - where everything can happen this weekend. Right now, Guilbaut Colas, the French hunk, leads the overall moguls World Cup with 741 points. Right behind him, Alexandre Bilodeau (CAN) has 679 points, closely followed by his team colleague, Mikael Kingsbury (645 points). Last weekend, Bilodeau won both the moguls and dual moguls competition in Are, and seems to be on a good roll. If he manage to win the final event in Voss on Saturday, he will win the Overall World Cup. Unless Colas comes second that is. Colas who came second on the overall World Cup standings last year surely wants to have this trophee, and we can only expect a thrilling final in Western Norway.
So what about ski cross? With six nations being represented within the top 3 ladies and men, it's surely not set which flag to raise on Sunday. For the ladies at least. The Austrians have not only had dominated ski jumpers and alpine skiers this year, they have an extremely talented ski crosser called Andreas Matt. Who will win even if he decides to not compete on Sunday, and Christopher DelBosco, currently ranked second, would win. The lead is too dominant. Matt, who finished fourth in the overall ski cross World Cup last year has had a tremendous season. He has been on the podium in every single race he has competed in, and our guts tells us he will be on the podium this weekend as well.
For the ladies globe, it's more like a cat fight. Or it can be at least. Germany's Heidi Zacher has had an overall strong performance and has been on the top of the leader board most of the season. But then the blond (or wait, her hair was brown last weekend?) Swedish girl, Anna Holmlund showed that she will not give up before the very last event. Their last contender for the overall is Kelsey Serwa, the 2009 FIS Rookie of the Year and Gold Medaillist in Deer Valley. So who will win? Zacher, who finished 30th overall last season but who has truly showed that she is an excellent ski crosser? Miss Holmlund, in order to ensure at least one visible Swedish flag amongst the Norwegians? Or Kelsey Serwa, the cute Canadian who seems to win when it really counts?
What's for sure, this weekend will give us all the answers, and we invite you all to follow the very last FIS Freestyle events this season.
Half pipe finals will take place in La Plagne (FRA). Two competitions on Saturday (ladies/men) and two competitions on Sunday (ladies/men). The World Cup Title award will be handed out on Sunday.