Today at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships, the world's best freeski and snowboard athletes will battle it out in two critical qualifying events: Men's Freeski Slopestyle followed by Men's Snowboard Superpipe. With freeski slopestyle making its Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games, redoubled by the iON Mountain Championships being the first USSA selection event of the 2013-2014 season, the American athletes will be ripping hard today at the qualifier in advancement of their Olympic aspirations.
With a stacked roster of top-ranking competitors, namely Nick Goepper, Tom Wallisch and Bobby Brown, the U.S. has a definite advantage heading into the qualifier. Expect nothing short of sport-progressing creativity from these U.S. freeskiers this week.
As the number one ranked slopestyle rider in the world, Nick Goepper is heading into Dew Tour hot. His smooth style and technical bag of tricks make him a must-watch this week. If Goepper's on, he could take home the win.
Then there's Tom Wallisch. A juggernaut of destruction during the 2012 season, Wallisch took home the 2012 overall Dew Cup, an X Games gold and capped it off by earning ESPN's Action Sports Athlete of the Year. He sets himself apart with incredible rail skills and undeniable execution—he makes even the most technical runs look easy.
Lastly, Breck-local Bobby Brown will be back on the slopestyle course this year after missing the 2012 iON Mountain Championships due to injury. As the most decorated Dew Tour slopestyle athlete, with 7 top-three finishes, Brown is a beacon of slopestyle progression. He was the first skier ever to land the triple cork 1440, and he did it on the same slope he'll be competing on this week. Will he make history at the iON Mountain Championships as the first skier to land the trick during competition? You'll have to watch to find out.
Henrik Harlaut, of Sweden, is pushing the sport to the limits. Right now, he's throwing the most complicated trick out there: the nose butter triple cork 1620. While he's only ever thrown the trick on a big air booter, it's possible he could steal the show by throwing it on the iON Mountain Championships slopestyle course during the final later this week.
Russ Henshaw, the reigning Dew Tour champion, is back this year to defend his title. Rumor has it the Aussie-native is landing triple corks off a 60-foot slopestyle jump. The question is, will he throw one this week at the iON Mountain Championships? Lastly, Ooystein Braaten, of Norway, will be throwing down today at the qualifier. He's proved to the world he can stomp triple cork 1440s during practice, but only time will tell if he can execute under pressure.
Watch the Men's Freeski Slopestyle Semi-Final today (Thursday, Dec. 12) at 11:30am ET on Dew Tour Live.
Dew Tour Live – Dew Tour's dedicated digital platform – will stream every competition live bringing more Dew Tour action, interviews and behind-the-scenes access than ever before.