66 competitions, 16 countries, 4 continents, 1 winter. That's a lot of air miles, but more importantly, a whole lot of skiing. The Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP), in case you didn't know, is the true governing body of competitive freeskiing, and curators of the AFP World Tour, which consists of any and all slopestyle, halfpipe and big air events that you have and haven't heard of.
At the conclusion of each winter, the AFP crowns AFP World Tour Champions in the aforementioned fields, along with Overall Champions (read: those who cut the most mustard no matter what type of feature is in front of them), and new for this year, Junior Champions, in an effort to bolster youth participation in the sport and so the youngsters have their shot at glory.
To see who took home this year's hardware, check out the release from AFP below, and congrats to all the winners... because it's no small feat.
The Association of Freeskiing Professionals officially crown the AFP World Champions and AFP Junior Champions of the 2016 AFP World Tour
APRIL 20, 2016 – TAHOE CITY, CA – Following another action-packed and hard-fought winter of competition, The Association of Freeskiing Professionals is excited to officially announce the 2016 AFP World & Junior Champions of the 2016 AFP World Tour.
On the AFP World Tour Rankings, Gus Kenworthy (USA) has been crowned AFP Men’s Overall World Champion for a staggering sixth year in a row, while for the fifth time in her career, Devin Logan (USA) is the AFP Women’s Overall World Champion.
“I’m stoked to hear that I was able to defend my title!” says Kenworthy. I’m really proud of my competitive season this year, and am looking forward to trying to keep my title again next season.”
Both Kenworthy and Logan proved once again that they are the most well rounded competitive freeskiers in the world via excelling in the fields of Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air, and will be honored with The Sarah Burke Trophies at the AFP Awards, which are set to take place prior to the beginning of next winter.
In Slopestyle, Øystein Bråten (NOR) is the AFP Men’s Slopestyle World Champion, while Kelly Sildaru (EST) has been crowned the AFP Women’s Slopestyle World Champion. Both of these talented young competitors earned their first AFP titles with podium-filled seasons, which included Bråten topping the field at the SFR Freestyle Tour Slopestyle Finals at La Clusaz, France and Sildaru winning every AFP-sanctioned Slopestyle contest she entered this winter.
In Halfpipe, the AFP Men’s & Women’s Halfpipe World Champions are Kevin Rolland (FRA) and Maddie Bowman (USA). Both Rolland and Bowman’s titles are highlighted by their victories at X Games Aspen in Aspen, Colorado and the SFR Freestyle Tour Halfpipe Finals in Tignes, France, with this being the third time both competitors have been crowned AFP World Halfpipe Champions.
In Big Air, X Games Aspen gold medalist Fabian Bösch (SUI) has become the AFP Men’s Big Air World Champion for his first time, while courtesy of the newly minted AFP Women’s Big Air Rankings, the inaugural AFP Women’s Big Air World Champion is Tiril Christiansen (NOR), who picked up wins at X Games Oslo and the Nor Freeski Championships.
On the brand new AFP Junior Rankings, which were developed at the beginning of the season and apply to athletes aged 18-years-old and younger as of December 31, 2015, Colby Stevenson (USA) and Rachael Karker (CAN) have been crowned as the first ever AFP Men’s and Women’s Overall Junior Champions. In Slopestyle, Andri Ragettli (SUI) is the AFP Men’s Slopestyle Junior Champion, and Kelly Sildaru has made it two-for-two by becoming the AFP Women’s Slopestyle Junior Champion. On the Halfpipe side of things, Birk Irving (USA) is your AFP Men’s Halfpipe Junior Champion, while Rachael Karker (CAN) has won her second AFP title of the season and her career by emerging as the AFP Women’s Halfpipe Junior Champion. And in Big Air, Fabian Bösch (SUI) has won both Men’s Big Air titles, and Johanne Killi (NOR) is the AFP Women’s Big Air Junior Champion.
For more information on the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, the AFP World Tour, and the 2016 AFP World & Junior Champions, complete with a results-based breakdown on how these athletes achieved this year’s accolades, along with who took second and third place in each category, be sure to visit afpworldtour.com.