On a sun-drenched Brisbane day, the final showdown of the FIS Freestyle Ski Summer Grand Prix Series took place, featuring top-notch competitors from Australia, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The Geoff Henke Olympic Winter Training Centre at Sleeman Sports Complex was the chosen venue for this climactic event. This series, which had its inception earlier this year, saw its initial rounds unfold in the picturesque locales of Mettmenstetten, Switzerland, and the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, USA.
For the women, the Australian sensation, Airleigh Frigo, clinched the top spot in today’s Freestyle Ski Summer Grand Prix with a commendable score of 85.36. Following closely were her compatriot Abbey Willcox with 79.69 and Ukraine’s Diana Yablonska, who secured the third spot with 68.44. For Frigo, this victory was doubly sweet, marking her first win in an aerials competition and achieving it on home turf. “It felt amazing… I train here all year round, so I really know the facility, and I think that was a huge advantage,” she beamed.
In the men’s division, Switzerland’s Pirmin Werner emerged victorious with a score of 146.37, followed by Ukraine’s Dmytro Kotovskyi with 122.62, and Oleksandr Okipniuk, also from Ukraine, taking the third spot with 120.00. Werner, reflecting on his win, said, “Winning here in Brisbane, with such a vibrant crowd and perfect conditions, is truly special. It’s moments like these that remind me why I love this sport.”
However, the day wasn’t without its share of heartbreaks. Laura Peel, the triple Olympian, had to bow out due to a calf injury sustained during training. Yet, her stellar performances in the previous rounds ensured her a second-place finish in the overall series.
Overall Summer Grand Prix Standings:
The women’s overall title was clinched by Canada’s Marion Thenault, amassing a total of 200 points from her two victories in the initial events. Laura Peel, despite her unfortunate injury, secured the second spot with 160 points, thanks to her consistent performances. The podium was rounded off by Airleigh Frigo, who, with her Brisbane win, tallied a total of 100 points.
Pirmin Werner’s stellar performance in Brisbane catapulted him to the top, earning him the Summer Grand Prix title with a total of 220 points. Noe Roth, despite a hiccup in the final round, managed to secure the second spot with 190 points. The third position was claimed by USA’s Christopher Lillis, who finished with 160 points.
As the curtains come down on the inaugural FIS Freestyle Ski Summer Grand Prix Series, the athletes now shift their focus to training, gearing up for the upcoming World Cup season in the northern hemisphere.