|ESPN.com: Freeskiing||[Print without images]|
American Keri Herman and England's James Woods won the first FIS World Cup Slopestyle contest of the season held Friday in Ushuaia, Argentina.
In the women's field, it was the first major win for Herman -- a perennial slopestyle silver medalist at Winter X Games -- in years. Herman won with a frontside 270, a switch corked 720, a switch 540, a 360 safety grab, and cork 540 mute grab. Switzerland's Eveline Bhend took second, followed by Canada's Dara Howell in third.
For the men, James Woods stole the show with a switch 270 pretzel on, 270 out on the rail, a switch 630 to switch on the gap to down box, a switch on backside 630 off the up box, a leftside dub cork 1080 mute grab, a rightside dub cork 1260 mute grab, and switch rightside 900 mute grab. Sweden's Henrik Harlaut took second, and Switzerland's Jonas Hunziker got third.
The contest was the first official slopestyle qualifier for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the first-ever FIS Slopestyle World Cup event held in Argentina. The event was organized by the Brazilian Snowsports Federation and was called the End of the World Challenge.
|Keri Herman on her way to a FIS victory.|
The Olympic qualifying process starts now and continues over the next year and a half.
"This really boosts my confidence and it feels so good to be here," said Herman. "[It] just inspires me to train harder and stay on the right path towards the Olympics."
"This is such an important milestone for the sport and its athletes," said U.S. Freeskiing slopestyle coach Skogen Sprang. "The next 17 months will surely provide a great show.
Herman and Woods will now possess the gold bibs, meaning they are the current FIS World Cup points leaders.
Said American Emilia Wint, who competed in Ushuaia fresh off a slopestyle win at the recent New Zealand Freeski Open, "It's going to be great to show off slopestyle at Sochi so the world can see what a fun and cool sport slopestyle and our community has always been."