57 youngsters from different nations took part in the first Swiss Ski Slopestyle Kids Event on the Glacier 3000 last Saturday. The competition was moved up by one day so the event could be held under perfect weather conditions.
Talented boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 15 took part in the spectacle at Glacier3000’s small snowpark.
They competed against each other in the categories U15, U13 and U11 in several runs. With racing speed, they drove up to the kickers to stay as high and long in the air as possible. The kids performed tricks that are normally seen only by experienced freestylers: for example, the forward flip (front flip), which is a lot more difficult than the backseat (backflip). The brave kids did not alway manage a perfect landing, but crashes are par for the course in slopestyle, which has been an Olympic sport since 2014. The young athletes bravely continued their run to receive as many points as possible from the jury on the following kickers and slide elements.
At the atmospheric award ceremony on the terrace plateau at Scex Rouge, the Swiss kids were especially happy. In four of the five categories, they were victorious. But there were also young talents from Germany, France and the United States on the podium. American Noah Avallone won the U11 category—he is the two-time US champion in this category, showing how high the level was at this event.
The next Winter Olympics will be held shortly in South Korea, and while these kids won’t be there, the Olympic dream may very well come true for them in the future.