Hall, Gu, First, Second in Font Romeu
Alex Hall (Park City, Utah) took the victory and Eileen Gu (San Francisco, Calif.) claimed her first-ever FIS Freeski World Cup podium with a second-place in Font Romeu, France, Saturday.
“I’m really stoked we got some amazing weather today after a tough week of wind,” said Hall. “Everyone killed it today and I was hyped to be a part of it and land on top!”
Gu also shared her excitement about her performance. “I'm over the moon after my first World Cup podium," she said. "I celebrated after getting invited to compete amongst my role models and didn't even dare dream that I would be able to podium alongside longtime idol and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin. I am beyond happy to have been able to land a run I was proud of."
Gu had a smile on her face all day long and led the way with strong performances across the board from U.S. Freeski women. Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.) finished fifth and Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.) finished seventh out of a field of 18 athletes. Gu shared the podium with PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin and Giulia Tanno from Switzerland who finished in first and third place respectively.
For the men, Hall earned his second World Cup slopestyle victory of his career with two very strong runs, both scoring in the 90s. Coming fresh off an urban filming trip, Hall took those skills to the rail section displaying great technicality. Earlier this season, Hall showed his big air prowess placing second at the Modena, Italy, World Cup big air and then proceeded to land on the podium at the Dew Tour slopestyle competition in Breckenridge, Colorado, with another second-place finish. Phillipe Langevin of Canada finished in second-place and Andri Ragettli of Switzerland closed out the podium in third-place.
Hall was not the only American skiing well in Font Romeu, Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.), who recently earned his first World Cup podium at the Stubai, Austria, World Cup in slopestyle finished fifth. Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) was 12th, and William Borm (Chaska, Minn.) 15th.
The FIS World Cup standings have been shaken up following competition in Font Romeu. For the women, Eileen Gu jumps in front of Estonian prodigy Kelly Sildaru to the number two spot behind Hoefflin, the current World Cup leader. Voisin sits in sixth, Claire in eighth and Krass in 13th. For the men, current World Cup standings have three U.S. Freeski Team members in the top 10 including Hall in the top spot, Forehand in second, and Borm (Chaska, Minn.) in seventh.
Freeski slopestyle World Cup competition will continue for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes in Seiseralm, Italy, Jan. 25-27. Shortly after, the world’s top freeskiers will descend on Park City, Utah for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships Feb. 1-10. Tune into NBC for all the action.