(LAAX, SUI – March 2, 2010) – Olympic Wintergames are over – the wintersport action continues in a spectacular manner in LAAX, Switzerland. Freeskiers from around the globe arrived in the leading freestyle resort of Europe to spin around in the perfectly shaped pipe and park, to ride for US$ 50.000 prize purse, top honors and to celebrate the 5th edition of the European Freeski Open by Swatch at Crap Sogn Gion mountain.
The European Freeski Open by Swatch 2010 brings together the very best professional and amateur skiers. Thanks to the open format 220 riders 14 years up have the chance to show their skills in the slopestyle and halfpipe competition. All riders who make it through the qualification will have the chance to battle in the semi-finals with international top freeskiers, among them the European Freeski Open Champions 2009 Henrik Harlaut & Kaya Turski. Bene Mayr (GER), Eva-Maria Patscheider (AUT), Elias Ambühl, Nils Lauper and Miriam Jäger (all SUI) are representing the German speaking part of the Alps. X-Games Winner 2010 Kevin Rolland and 2009 Xavier Bertoni from France and Emma Lonsdale and Paddy Graham from UK are joining as well again the Freeski Open, Thomas Dolplads (NOR) and AJ Kempainnen (FIN) made the trip from Northern Europe to Grison. All of them will be challenged by top riders from Down Under, e.g. Anna Segal, Russ Henshaw (both AUS) and Winter Dew Tour Winner 2010 Jossi Wells (NZE), and the strong Northamerican phalanx including Taylor Seaton, Simon Dumont, Tom Wallisch, Matt Margetts, Jen Hudak, Roz Groenewoud and Alexis Godbout. Over all the 4 times winner Virginie Faivre from Montreux/Suisse will try to continue her unique string of victories in LAAX at the 5th anniversary of the European flagship event.
The pros have to pay attention to the rookies and some suprising trick combinations of the newcomers. It wouldn’t be the first time that a rider out of the qualification will earn the title and the major part of the US$ 50.000 prize money. It already happened a few times that the young guns recieved the winning scores impressing judges, media, teammates and spectators: in 2007 Jossi Wells (Halfpipe) and PK Hunder (Slopestyle), in 2008 Russ Henshaw (Slopestyle) and in 2009 Matthew Philippi (Halfpipe). So it worth to be curious about the performances of the stars and the starlets in LAAX.
To follow the event please come and join us in LAAX – or use the live-scoring service on http://live.eim-solutions.com/efo2010 . Additonal information is placed on the event website www.laax.com/freeskiopen .
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images