With the conclusion of the 2020/21 FIS Freestyle and Freeski World Cup seasons at the end of Saturday’s slopestyle competitions in Silvaplana, the last of this season’s major trophies were distributed to the top athletes and nations. Here today we’re taking a look back at the top athletes and nations of the season…
FIS Freestyle Nations Cup overall
Switzerland - 4512 points
The biggest national trophy of the season went to the Swiss team in 2020/21, whose 4512 points put them just ahead of last year’s winner Canada and their 4254 points. With one individual crystal globe going to ski cross star Fanny Smith, five more top-3 medals earned by Swiss athletes in the other events, and 31 total podiums earned over the course of the season, the Swiss took advantage of the limited opportunities presented in 2020/21 to walk away as the world’s strongest FIS Freestyle & Freeski World Cup nation overall.
Women’s crystal globe: Fanny Smith (SUI) - 945 points
Men’s crystal globe & Rookie of the Year: Reese Howden (CAN) - 691 points
Women's Rookie of the Year: Jade Grillet-Aubert (FRA) - 313 points
Nations Cup: Switzerland - 3,311 points
After finishing second to Canada last season, Switzerland was back on top of the ski cross Nations Cup standings in 2020/21, powered on by Fanny Smith and her crystal-globe winning, 945 point season. With Jonas Lenherr finishing second on the men’s rankings, as well as top-10 seasons from the likes of Talina Gantenbein and Ryan Ragez, the Swiss were able to stay clear of the second-ranked French team, while Canada dropped to third on the season despite a crystal-globe winning effort from Reese Howden on the men’s side of things.
Howden's achievement is even more impressive when you consider that 2020/21 was his first full season of World Cup action, and the 22 year-old also earned Rookie of the Year honours for his efforts. Meanwhile, Jade Grillet-Aubert of France took the top rookie award on the women's side of things.
Women’s crystal globe: Perrine Laffont (FRA) - 445 points
Men’s crystal globe: Matt Graham (AUS) - 289 points
Women's Rookie of the Year: Kai Owens (USA) - 234 points
Men's Rookie of the Year: Nick Page (USA) - 134 points
Nations Cup: USA - 1520 points
While a significantly abbreviated moguls World Cup season only saw five competitions take place at three different venues, it was the USA taking the Nations Cup honours with 1920 points, despite only having one athlete in the top-3 on either the women’s or men’s side of competition, as Hannah Soar took the season’s bronze for the women.
However, right behind Soar in spots 4-6 were three more US skiers in Kai Owens, Jaelin Kauf and Tess Johnson. Solid top-10 seasons on the men’s side for Brad Wilson, Nick Page and Dylan Walczyk also helped the cause. Owens and Page would earn the respective women's and men's moguls Rookie of the Year trophies for their efforts.
Perrine Laffont claimed the women’s moguls crystal globe for the fourth straight season, while on the men’s side of things we saw a new moguls globe winner for the first time in a decade, as Matt Graham took advantage of an injury-shortened season for the 9-time reigning champ Mikael Kingsbury to earn the title for 2020/21.
Women’s crystal globe: Laura Peel (AUS) - 450 points
Men’s crystal globe: Maxim Burov (RUS) - 526 points
Women's Rookie of the Year: Marion Thenault (CAN) - 312 points
Men's Rookie of the Year: Dmytro Kotoskyi (UKR) - 78 points
Nations Cup: USA - 1946 points
With the Chinese team not participating in the World Cup this season due to covid-19 restrictions the door was open for one of the other top nations to step up, and the USA was able to do just that, although a last-competition push by the Russians very nearly swept the title away from the US team. In the end, however, the USA’s 1946 points would keep them just 25 points clear of Russia’s 1921. Winter Vinecki lead the way for the US team with
Australia’s Laura Peel earned her second-straight crystal globe with 450 points, putting her well clear of Vinecki, while Russia’s Maxim Burov had one of the best men’s seasons over recorded, winning the crystal globe with five individual competition victories, two team competition wins, and Almaty 2021 World Championships gold.
Canada's Marion Thenault claimed Rookie of the Year honours after finishing third overall on the women's rankings with 312 points, while Dmytro Kotovskyi of the Ukraine would earn the top rookie trophy for the men.
Women’s slopestyle & Freeski overall crystal globe: Tess Ledeux (FRA) - 380 points (300 SS, 80 BA)
Men’s slopestyle Freeski & overall crystal globe: Colby Stevenson (USA) - 245 points (all SS)
Nations Cup: USA - 1696
No sub-discipline was more heavily effected by the pandemic situation this season than Freeski, with more than half of the competitions scheduled for 2020/21 ending up cancelled. Still, the events that did take place were some of the very best we’ve ever seen on the Freeski World Cup, and with a strong finish in the final weeks the season there’s some big-time positive momentum to carry into 2021/22.
The USA won the FIS Freeski Nations Cup trophy in a landslide this season, with the country’s 1696 points nearly double runner-up Switzerland’s 853. With Colby Stevenson leading the way by taking the slopestyle and Freeski overall globes and three other men - Alex Hall, Mac Forehand and Aaron Blunck - finishing in the top-10.
With only one World Cup competition each for big air and halfpipe able to take place in 2020/21, it was something of a foregone conclusion that the athletes who won the slopestyle globe would also take the overall, and so as with Stevenson, France’s Tess Ledeux claimed both honours on the women’s side of things. Ledeux won all three slopestyle World Cups on the season while also finishing second in the lone big air event.