8 FEB 2013, SILVAPLANA, SUI – The temperatures were cold and the course was at-times challenging, but on Friday at Corvatsch resort in Silvaplana, SUI, a strong international finals grouping of eight ladies and 16 men strapped their boots on and went to work at the 2nd FIS Freestyle slopestyle World Cup of the season.
The top three men's qualifiers from the previous day's elimination round were Klaus Finne (NOR), Sami Sakkinen (FIN), and Espen Bergh (NOR), but the story of the day in what was a great showing for Norwegian freeskiing was the performance of 17 year old Johan Berg
On Thursday, Berg barely squeaked into the finals - actually registering less points in his qualification run then some athletes who didn't make it in but getting a pass due to placing in the top four in his heat.
On Friday morning he took the opportunity granted by the previous day's good luck and backed it up with pure skill, dropping in first in the men's final and setting an early tone that none of the other athletes could match by throwing back-to-back 1260s on a day when few other competitors were even able to throw one of the 3.5 full-rotation spins.
Berg's first run had some hiccups, but his second run of switch-up blind 270 on the kinked rail, double-corked 1260 Japan-to-mute, switch 1260 mute, right-side 900, switch disaster 270 to fakie on the second rail, and finally right-side flatspin 360 on the butter box step-down was easily the most technical and well-stomped of the day and granted him the victory.
Berg was followed up by his countryman and top-qualifier Klaus Finne in 3nd and Swiss local Fabien Boesch in 3rd. World Cup slopestyle overall leader James Woods (GBR) ended up in 10th place.
On the ladies' side it was another 17 year old Norwegian who dominated the day as Tiril Sjaarstad Christiansen lead from start to finish, winning qualifiers before going on to throw the two best runs of the ladies' final to take a decisive victory.
Her highest-scoring run included a 720 tail grab, left-side 540 safety, switch right-side 720 tail, and a switch-up 270 off on the down box.
Sjaarsted Christiansen was followed up by Katie Summerhayes (GBR) and Anna Segal (AUS), who previously also placed 3rd at Copper Mountain.
It was the first World Cup podium for both Berg and Sjaarsted Christiansen, though Berg had a strong 6th place finish earlier this year at Copper Mountain and Sjaarstad Christiansen has a pair of 4th place finishes – one in halfpipe and one in slopestyle – to her name.
By capturing three of the six possible podium places and putting fully five skiers in the top 16 on the men's side, the Norwegian contingent sent a strong message to the world at the Silvaplana slopestyle, and are looking strong as we move deeper into the Olympic qualifying period.
Norwegian athletes win both men's and ladies events at the FIS Freestyle Silvaplana World Cup slopestyle
Men's winner, 17 year old Johan Berg, put down a run that featured back-to-back 1260s; no other skier spun over 1080 on the day
Ladies' winner Tiril Sjaarstad Christiansen, also 17 years old, was the top skier throughout qualifying and threw down the top two runs in finals
Norway had five skiers in the men's final, while host Switzerland placed four athletes
Fabien Boesch held it down for the host Swiss, securing 3rd in the men's contest
James Woods continues to lead the men's World Cup slopestyle overall
Keri Herman (USA) leads the women's overall, though she was not in attendance at Silvaplana
After the cancellation of the Sochi event, the next event FIS Freestyle World Cup slopestyle will be in Voss at the Freestyle World Championships on March 9th, 2013.