It’s very difficult to put these moments into words… All of the hard work, the countless hours of effort, culminated tonight in what was the best Jon Olsson Invitational in the event’s history. Truly one for the history books. With the conditions we’ve been dreaming of all week and thousands of spectators, the 10th iteration of the Jon Olsson Invitational was a resounding success.
The sun graced the venue early on through cracks in the clouds, eventually fighting its way through to illuminate the jump and slalom course in all its glory. The stage was set for the best skiers in the world to take the course and astound the thousands of spectators.
And astound they did… After their late arrival to Åre, a handful of the Betsafe Alpine Challenge skiers made a dramatic low swooping entrance in a helicopter that spread a wave of awe through the venue. Immediately, they took to the course, eyeing up every turn in anticipation before lining up in front of the start gates.
Tense, they stand side-by-side with eyes on the goal line, three drops and plenty of gates away. “Red skier ready! Blue skier ready!” The four-beep countdown began and their grip on the poles tightened before the gates dropped and they were off to cheers and an array of equally as intense rock music.
In the end, it was Leif Kristain Haugen who took the win for the men and Julia Mancuso who won it for the women.
Intertwined in the madness was the Head big air event. The riders, with all their practice from the days before, were primed and ready to drop a thousand jaws. As they ascended the in-run, anticipation grew both for them and the crowd. Suddenly it became real; 24 meters, four seconds of hang-time and a host of variations of tricks the majority of us had never seen before were in store.
The jump is scary, a behemoth that would intimidate the most seasoned of skiers. But these are the best riders in the world; they comfortably knew their way around the jump by now and managed to push nerves aside. One by one, they sent the jump beautifully backlit by the sun that had now managed to take hold on the event. With a whole host of new tricks that had never been done before tonight, it was a sight that needed to be seen to believe.
In the end it was Swedish phenomenon Oscar Wester who took first place followed by fellow Swede Jesper Tjader and Fabian Bosch.
Now it is time to celebrate… Here’s to another 10 years and more!
Results – Betsafe Alpine Challenge – Men
1. Leif Kristian Haugen
2. Sebastian Foss Solevåg
3. Truls Johansen
4. Mattias Hargin
5. Jeff Frisch
5. Warner Nickerson
5. Kjetil Jansrud
5. Matthias Mayer Results – Betsafe Alpine Challenge – Women
1. Julia Mancuso
2. Rosina Schneeberger
3. Anna Swenn-Larsson
4. Maria PH
5. Carmen Thalmann
5. Sara Hector
5. Ranghild Mowinckel
5. Natalie Eklund (DNS) Head Big Air
1. Oscar Wester
2. Jesper Tjäder
3. Fabian Bösch
4. Torin Yater-Wallace
Crowds flocked Åre’s main square, seeping like rainwater into the shelter of the Betsafe tent. They came in hopes to meet the athletes with merchandise in hand ready for them to make their mark at the Betsafe signing session. Between […]