The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has already announced course details for this year’s inaugural slopestyle skiing competition, but who is going to be launching off those 70-foot jumps? After Saturday and Sunday’s Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, we got a sneak preview of a few, but thought it might be a good idea to feel out the entire slopestyle field. After some extensive research, we compiled a list of five athletes worth watching out for this February, so listen up and listen good.
Devin Logan is freeskiing’s biggest double threat, competing and winning in both women’s slopestyle and halfpipe skiing. Logan’s expertise is unquestionably in slopestyle, where she has an X Games silver medal and a win at the Dew Tour iOn Mountain Championships in Breckenridge. The 20-year-old has two older brothers who are successful pro skiers, but the younger Logan might be the one stealing headlines come February. Logan is coming off ACL surgery and announced her return with a halfpipe win in the first stop of the World Cup this season down in New Zealand.
Canada’s Kaya Turski is somewhat of a queen when it comes to slopestyle skiing. Turski has three X Games golds and an FIS World Ski Championship to her name, and has been nothing short of dominant in recent years. But Turski is currently battling to return to snow after suffering a torn ACL this summer, going under the knife for an experimental surgery that cuts recovery time in half. Keep an eye on Turski’s recovery as the Games approach, because if she’s healthy Turski will shake up the podium.
Nick Goepper won the Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, and didn’t even need his poles to do it. Unable to hold poles after sustaining a broken hand, the Indiana native laid down an Olympic-quality run en route to beating a talented slopestyle field. Goepper took home vital points in Olympic qualification in what promises to be one of the most intense roster battles in the Olympics. Goepper leads a group of U.S. men that includes X Games champion Tom Wallisch, world champion Alex Schlopy, and AFP overall champion Gus Kenworthy.
Russ Henshaw is a big competitor from down under—and we’re not just talking talent. At 6 feet, 2 inches, Henshaw is one of the largest competitors in the sport, but that doesn’t stop him from stomping massive triple corks and taking home X Games hardware. After taking third at the first Dew Tour stop, the Red Bull-sponsored ripper has his eyes on Sochi with a chance to do what only three Aussies have ever done: strike gold in Olympic skiing.
Despite his absence from the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Henrik Harlaut is the eclectic dark horse in Olympic slopestyle. Seemingly out of nowhere, the dreadlocked Swede shocked the world last year with his unprecedented butter triple cork 1620 on his way to Winter X Games Big Air gold. Harlaut isn’t huge on the competition scene, but when he competes people remember. A smooth, street-styled skier who loves to spin and slide on metal, Harlaut has a chance at gold if he decides he wants it. The sport’s true enigma, Harlaut will be entertaining at the very least for this year’s Sochi Games.
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