The 2022/23 freeski slopestyle season has launched! Monster Energy congratulates team rider Birk Ruud on taking first place in Men’s Freeski Slopestyle at the FIS World Cup in Stubai, Austria. In the first event of the season, sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS), the 22-year-old from Baerum, Norway covered the downhill course on Stubai Glacier with a perfect run to rise above the competition.
Also putting on a strong performance this weekend, Team USA rider and Monster Energy athlete Colby Stevenson rose to the podium: The 25-year-old from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, finished in third place on the strength of a technical run.
From November 16-19, 2022, the world elite of the sport headed to Stubai Glacier for the FIS Freeski World Cup. Once again, the world-class Stubai Zoo slopestyle course provided the backdrop for spectacular freestyle ski action. The sixth edition of the Stubai FIS World Cup attracted top riders, including Olympic gold medalists and X Games winners.
In the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle Final, Monster Energy’s Birk Ruud stepped in as a top competitor. Only a few weeks ago, the Olympic gold medalist clinched the win in the Freeski Big Air season opener in Switzerland. And as the overall 2021/22 FIS World Cup Crystal Globe winner – claiming three wins and four podiums in the past season – the Norwegian was looking to maintain his momentum.
Facing heat from Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli, Ruud proceeded to lock in the win right on his first run. Hitting the two jumps with a switch right double cork 1620 safety and a left double bio 1440 mute, he worked the rail section with a right-side backside 810 off, followed by a switch left 270 back swap 360 to forward, and right 450 on to 270 pretzel out on the last obstacle. The powerful run earned Ruud a score of 88.96 points and what is already his tenth World Cup victory.
“To me, there are two things: To stay present and to have good preparations. Those are the only things that matter. If you ask me what’s going through my mind when I ski, I would just say there’s nothing. I’m completely present. I don’t think about anything; I’m just right in the moment,” said Monster Energy’s Ruud after winning the Slopestyle season opener in Stubai.
Known as one of the most versatile freeskiers on the circuit, Monster Energy’s Ruud earned the Olympic gold medal in Men’s Ski Big Air at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and owns four X Games medals (2 gold, 2 silver).
A second Monster Energy rider earned a podium spot this weekend: Third place in Men’s Freeski Slopestyle went to 25-year-old Colby Stevenson from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but currently resides in Park City, Utah. Stevenson is no stranger to World Cup podiums and finished 2020/21 as the Crystal Globe winner.
In Stubai, the American prodigy returned to the World Cup podium for the first time since claiming the trophy. Trick highlights included a creative left nosebutter double 1620 revert Japan as well as a technical left corked 900 tail tap on the course’s balloon feature. With a score of 85.68 points, Stevenson earned the third-place finish for Team USA.
Now a member of the US Ski Team for eight years, Stevenson barged into the spotlight with a breakout season performance in 2020. That year, he made history as the first X Games rookie to win slopestyle gold and also took top honors in the new Ski Knuckle Huck event at X Games Aspen. In 2021, he took first place in Slopestyle at Dew Tour Copper Mountain and took home the silver medal in Men’s Ski Big Air at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic games.
Next on the calendar, look forward to ending the year with a bang: From 14-17 December, the FIS Freeski World Cup at Copper Mountain, Colorado, will host Big Air and Halfpipe competitions. Don’t miss it!