With multiple X Games medals and a technical bag of tricks, Park City native McRae Williams has earned his place among the sport’s elite. (Getty Images/Doug Pensinger)
The FIS World Cup Tour wraps up this week with halfpipe finals taking place in Tignes, France on Thursday, with slopestyle qualis and finals taking place in Silvaplana, Switzerland on Friday and Saturday. Gus Kenworthy sits in striking distance for both.
Four U.S. Freeskiing athletes landed on the podium in the slopestyle skiing competition at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix in Park City, UT.
With fresh snow falling on Park City Mountain Resort at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, the conditions were tough for the athletes in the Visa slopestyle skiing qualifiers. The two heats became a game of survival, with the snow making speed a major issue.
Alex Schlopy landed two incredible runs in front of his hometown crowd to take the victory Friday at the fourth slopestyle Olympic qualifier at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, while Bobby Brown finished second and secured his Olympic team spot.
Talented up-and-comer McRae Williams stomped his line and won gold at X Games Tignes on Thursday, claiming his first X Games medal. Teammate Gus Kenworthy took the bronze.
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Born and raised in Park City, UT, slopestyle master McRae Williams was destined to be a skier. After a few years of paying his dues on the competition circuit, Williams earned his spot amongst the sport’s elite by putting together technical moves on rails and going huge with tricks like his switch triple cork. All the hard work paid off for Williams, who now has two X Games medals in slopestyle under his belt.
Williams had a breakout year in 2013, when he bagged the gold medal in slopestyle at X Games Tignes and then went on to win the Red Bull Total Fight event. With a podium finish at the Austrian Freeski Open to boot, he realized his potential and set his sights on making the inaugural U.S. Olympic slopestyle team the following season.
Despite a grueling schedule of Olympic qualification events in the 2014 season, Williams managed to put down strong top-five performances. Unfortunately, his results didn’t land him a spot on the Olympic team, but his season wasn’t over. Williams headed to X Games Aspen and took silver in slopestyle and then a second consecutive win at the Red Bull Total Fight event. His eighth-place finish at the AFP World Championship event in Whistler let Williams finish the 2014 season fourth in slopestyle on the AFP world ranking list, moving up a few spots from the previous year.
Although slopestyle is William’s specialty, he loves to shred pow and build kickers in the backcountry, ski urban, and film video parts that show his well roundedness in skiing.
OFF THE SNOW
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