WHISTLER, B.C. – After stomping a perfect switch double 1620 at last weekend’s Association of Freeskiing Professionals World Championships in Whistler, B.C., Telluride’s Gus Kenworthy walked away the 2011/2012 Big Air World Champion.
Kenworthy went into the weekend’s big air event in third place overall but his perfect double 1620 overtook the two skiers ahead of him in the standings, and his effort put him at the top of the World Rankings with 3666.17 points.
“I really liked the jump and the landing was super soft, so I knew I wanted to throw that 16,” Kenworthy said. “The energy at tonight’s event was incredible. I was able to feed off that energy, do the best that I could and come up on top.”
Besides walking away with the gold, Kenworthy was also presented the keys to a red 2012 Chevy Sonic as his prize.
Last year’s champion Kai Mahler went into the weekend in first place but was bumped to third overall after an eighth place finish in Whistler. Vincent Gagnier took second place in the season’s big air championship.
Big air wasn’t the only discipline Kenworthy competed in during the weekend. He also won the slopestyle competition. In the final, Kenworthy put down an unbeatable score on his first run, which included a lip-slide to back 270 out, a switch right double cork 1080 japan, a left dub cork 1260 across the channel gap, a switch left dub 9 and a left 9 on the quarter pipe. Kenworthy was able to solidify his second title as AFP Overall World Champion after the big result.
Kenworthy, along with Devin Logan, who finished as the womens’ AFP Overall World Champion, were the first-ever recipients of the Sarah Burke Trophy.
Named for the 29-year-old Canadian freeskier who died last January, the trophy is awarded to the male and female with the highest Overall World Ranking.
“I am honored to accept this award,” said Kenworthy. “Sarah’s legacy will never be forgotten. She did so much for the sport and she was so inspiring. I just feel really honored that this is named after her and that I can accept this award.”
Gus Kenworthy had 23 top five finishes this season. He competed more than anyone and was rewarded in doing so.