It’s hard to fathom the void that the passing of J.P. Auclair and Andreas Fransson has left on our ski community, a numbness that all of us have experienced in the past half year.
But now, nearly eight months after one of the most tragic days in skiing, the Armada family is reminding us just how enduring their positive legacy can be by introducing the J.P. Memorial--a celebratory, anti-contest contest in Riksgransen, Sweden, this May 3-7.
"The J.P. Memorial is to here to pay tribute to our hero, remember where this sport came from, and put a little fun back into a ski contest,” the ski company announced on its site.
Riksgransen, Sweden, is the first place Armada co-founder and photographer Chris O’Connell met Auclair, a then-long haired French Canadian air and style specialist, at the King of the Hill Contest. It was the start of a nearly two decade friendship that brought Auclair to the masses and changed the way we viewed skiing.
“In my twenty years of photographing skiing and snowboarding, I can truly distill the birthplace of modern skiing to those couple of weeks above the Arctic Circle at the one-of-a-kind ski resort called Riksgransen,” O’Connell told Armada.
O’Connell, Armada, and countless of Auclair’s friends and ski family will descend on the Swedish resort once more to honor the late skier in a contest rewarding the best backflip mute, best quarterpipe hit, and best quarterpipe straight air, among other things. For non-contest entrants, awards for best hair and most fun are also up for grabs.
For a guy that made a life out of making us smile, the J.P. Memorial is a fitting way to celebrate a legend and friend. This one’s for you, J.P.