The team events Sunday gave skiers an unprecedented opportunity to compete alongside their teammates. Power duos including Gus Kenworthy and Jossi Wells joined forces on a day plagued by unpredictable weather.
The original format had one skier competing on the slopestyle jib course and another competing on the slopestyle jump. Unfortunately, the jump was at a higher elevation and exposed to high winds coursing through the Front Range today. After a cold, windy morning, jib competition, organizers determined the safest route would be to forego jumps in favor of a second jib run.
Atomic took home the $25,000 purse after an incredible run from Gus Kenworthy, who had struggled this weekend on the jib and jump courses. One of the best rail skiers in the world, Kenworthy is incredibly technical, packing as much action into each feature as possible and favoring a smooth, controlled style. Originally, teammate Fabian Bösch was slated to jump, but Team Captain Jossi Wells took his spot at the last minute. Jossi took a similar line to yesterday’s, including a complicated transfer on a folded wall-ride feature that no other athlete utilized.
With so much time to get familiar with the course during practice and competitions, the athletes all skied at an insanely high level today, nailing tricks that had tripped them up in the previous day’s competitions, refining signature moves, and generally approaching the features with more confidence than in yesterdays comps. Völkl’s Nick Goepper and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand took second, and Head’s Evan McEachran and Jesper Tjäder took third.
Beaulieu-Marchand, known as ABM, had an incredible weekend. Taking the podium three times, the Quebec native was thrilled with the outcome of the weekend.
"I just feel lucky and blessed,” says ABM. “I've just been giving it my all everyday and I'm happy it all worked out. I don't know if there's a secret but you just don't control anything really except what you are doing. You can't control the judges, you can't control the other riders. I'm just stoked I landed my run.”
The crowd was full of athletes cheering on their teammates, and Armada team manager Tanner Hall and K2 athlete Sean Pettit figured large into the events today as well. Hall skied each run close behind his athletes, Henrik Harlaut and breakout Quinn Wolferman, whose unique style didn’t earn him high scores, but did earn the respect of his competitors. Sean Jordan of K2 called Wolferman’s the best runs of the day.
Spirits were high after the long weekend of competitions and events, and the team format lent a communal, celebratory feel to the day’s events. The podium, loaded with nine skiers (two competitors and one team manager from each), was a party in and of itself.
"We're all homies regardless of who we're skiing for or what country we're from, but to be a part of a team like this and come through and win is a great feeling,” Wells said upon his win.