Monster Energy Athletes Claim Freeski & Snowboard Slopestyle World Championship Titles At Bakuriani World Champs

Monster Energy congratulates its team of snow sports athletes on a strong performance and several titles in the Bakuriani 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard, and Freeski World Championships sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) in Georgia, Europe, this week.

In an action-packed week of snow sports competitions, 16-year-old Mia Brookes from Sandbach, UK, earned the title of World Champion in Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle with a never-been-done trick to become the youngest Snowboard World Champion in history. She was joined on the slopestyle podium by 21-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnott from New Zealand in the silver medal position. Also rising to the top, 22-year-old Birk Ruud from Oslo, Norway, ended a dominant FIS World Cup season by winning the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle title. In Women’s Freeski Slopestyle, 21-year-old Megan Oldham from Newmarket, Canada, earned the silver medal.

From 19 February to 5 March 2023, the 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships attract the world's elite of snow spots to Bakuriani, Georgia. At two ski resorts in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, over 700 ski and snowboard athletes from 40 countries compete for titles in disciplines including Slopestyle, Halfpipe, and Big Air. Snowboard and Freeski competitions in the Slopestyle discipline were decided amid perfect slope conditions on February 27-28.

Here's how Team Monster Energy took titles at Bakuriani 2023 in Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle:

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle: Monster Energy’s Mia Brookes Earns Historic World Championship Title

On Monday, the first day of finals at Bakuriani 2023 kicked off with a record-setting gold medal for Team Monster Energy. The Schneestern-designed course at Didveli Resort was running fast for the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle final. Ideal conditions for 16-year-old snowboard phenom Mia Brookes from the UK to clinch the victory and make history!

Known for her highly technical rail tricks, Brookes put down a Half Cab on to 360 out the first rail, into a backside 360 to 50-50 the second rail. Heading into the jumps, she launched a frontside 720 Indy followed by a backside 900 Indy on the second jump. On her third jump, Brookes made history: A switch frontside 1440 melon – actually double-grabbed – was never landed before in women’s competition in the history of the sport. She concluded her run with a switch boardslide 270 tail grab out the canon rail, Half Cab into the wallride, alley-oop 50-50 to 180 out the Big Blue Tube, and a technical 50-50 to frontside 270 to frontside boardslide to regular for the winning score of 91.38 points.

“I honestly feel like I'm going to cry. I’ve never been so happy in my life,” said Brookes upon winning the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle World Championships.

With her performance at Bakuriani, Brookes set two records: At age 16, she is now the youngest Snowboard World Champion in history and achieved this feat in her first year competing on the World Cup circuit. Her highlight trick, a 1440-degree aerial (four full rotations), was never landed before by a female rider in competition.

“I’m super stoked. I cannot believe I’m the first women to do a 1440 and the youngest to win a World Championship. Still can’t believe it, it feels like a dream. I’m super happy with how I rode!” said Brookes.

Speaking on the history-making trick, Brookes said: “I’d tried the 12 in practice, and I came round and almost went 14, so I knew it was possible on this jump. My coach was like, ‘You know what? If you want to win this, just try the 14.’”

Last season, Brookes was still too young to compete in FIS World Cup events and missed out on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics because of her age. She made her debut on the FIS World Cup circuit with a second-place finish at Laax Open in January and has been snowboarding since she was 18 months old.

Brookes faced strong competition from Monster Energy teammate and reigning slopestyle World Champion as well as Olympic gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. Fresh off Slopestyle gold at X Aspen 2023, the 21-year-old from New Zealand dropped in as the favorite but was having difficulty putting down a perfect run.

After missing her line on Run 2, Sadowski-Synnott had to contend with the silver medal based on her score from Run 1. Her highest-scoring run featured frontside lipslide fakie, switch frontside 180 on backside 180 off, switch backside 900 mute, frontside 1080 Indy, backside double 1080 mute, 50-50 wildcat Indy the cannon rail, transfer to frontside lipslide the quarterpipe, and boardslide fakie the kink rail for 88.78 points and second place.

“Winning a medal here means a lot to me since it’s my last slopestyle competition of the season. And it’s sick to land my run,” said Sadowski-Synnott.

In 2022, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott earned Slopestyle gold and Big Air silver at the Beijing Olympics and was celebrated as New Zealand’s first Winter Olympics gold medalist.

Men’s Freeski Slopestyle: Monster Energy’s Birk Ruud Clinches World Championship

The titles run continued on Tuesday when the action shifted to the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle final. The rider to beat? All eyes were on FIS World Cup season standings leader, 22-year-old Birk Ruud from Oslo, Norway. After winning four of five FIS World Cup competitions this season, he was facing a stacked field of 15 competitors.

When all was said and done, the Scandinavian kept his win streak going to claim the World Championship in Men’s Freeski Slopestyle. And he did it on the final run while looking at the podium from the outside in fourth place position and dropping in as the final rider of the competition. Talk about drama!

In his final run, Ruud put his technical bag of tricks (and nerves) on full display: A rail combo of switch left 270 on to pretzel 450 off and 450 on to continuing 450 off on the second, followed by a switch left double cork 1620 mute on the first jump, right double cork 1440 lead tail on the second, and a huge signature left double bio 1800 mute on the big money booter. He then hit the cannon rail via a left slide to left corked 810 blunt off, into switch left 270 on to forward the Big Blue Tube, and finally, a left 450 lipslide popped out to switch on the final down rail for 90.75 points, and the win!

“I’m just very grateful and thankful. It’s nice to have a world champs title, so I can say I’m the world’s best… or at least I was today!” said Ruud upon winning the Men’s Freeski Slopestyle World Championship in Georgia.

Known as one of the most versatile riders on the circuit, Ruud also took the gold medal in Freeski Big Air at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He currently owns five X Games medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze).

Women’s Freeski Slopestyle: Monster Energy’s Megan Oldham Takes Silver Medal

The medals kept coming in the competitive Women’s Freeski Slopestyle final, where Canadian Megan Oldham dropped in as one of the podium favorites. After all, the 21-year-old from Newmarket, Canada, already earned gold in the discipline at X Games Norway 2020 as well as back-to-back silver at X Games Aspen 2021 and 2022.

Facing heat from Swiss rider Mathilde Gremaud, Oldham found her groove on the second run. After sitting in the bronze medal position, she bumped up her score by landing a right slide to right 270 off, right cork 900 blunt, switch left double cork 900 Japan, left double 1080 mute, right slide left 630 off, and right slide to forward to left 270 on continuing 270 off for 87.75 points and the silver medal.

This marks the second FIS World Championships medal for Oldham after she earned Slopestyle bronze two years ago in Aspen. In January, she shook up the established order by taking double gold in Slopestyle and Big Air at X Games Aspen 2023, Oldham now owns seven X Games medals (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).

Stay tuned for more action at the Bakuriani 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships: Look forward to the Snowboard Halfpipe finals on Friday (March 3), followed by Freeski Halfpipe on Saturday (March 4), and then Freeski and Snowboard Big Air as the finisher on Sunday (March 5). Don’t miss it!

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