The final competitions of the FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard 2017/18 season are finally here with the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships set to take to the slopes of New Zealand’s Cardrona Mountain Resort from 24th August to 8th September.
The 2018 edition of the event will be the second time the event has been held south of the equator, after Otaga (NZL) hosted in 2010. With big air, halfpipe, slopestyle, cross, snowboard cross team, parallel slalom, and parallel giant slalom competitions all scheduled over two weeks. There is the added excitement of the JWSC 2018 being part of the wide-ranging Audi quattro Winter Games New Zealand programme, the pieces are in place for the official end of the 2017/18 season to be a thrilling one.
A huge line-up of the world’s best young riders and skiers will be on hand, with nearly 300 athletes scheduled to compete for medals and representing nations from Hungary to Korea, Canada to the Czech Republic, Great Britain to Lithuania, and dozens of others. Competing athletes are aged 16 to 19(born 1998-2002) for the cross and parallel events, while for the big air, halfpipe, and slopestyle events athletes they are 14 to 18 years old (born 2000-2004).
The FIS Junior World Championships have been a launchpad to successful careers for a dazzling array of athletes over the years, and the 2017 competitions were a perfect example, with snowboard cross athlete Julia Pereira (FRA) taking bronze at the JWSC only to go on and claim silver at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Host New Zealand’s is bringing some star power with Zoi Sadowski Synnott, the second-ever Olympic Winter Games medalist for her nation with bronze at the inaugural Olympic big air competition in PyeongChang.
Like Sadowski Synnott, many of the young athletes competing in Cardrona have already made names for themselves on the FIS World Cup tours and at other elite-level competitions, and will be looking to add the title of “FIS Junior World Champion” to their CVs over the coming weeks. However, to do that the challengers will have to go through a list of returning medalists from the JWSC 2017 competitions that is long and impressive.
Medal action begins on 25th August with the big air finals, followed by ski and snowboard cross on 27th August, slopestyle on 31st August, halfpipe on 4th September, parallel giant slalom on 5th August, and parallel slalom closing out the Championships.
The final event of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ will be the FIS Snowboard big air World Cup competition - the first World Cup of the 2018/19 season - which will take place on 8th September 2018.