It was a historic day for the sport of Freeride, as the first stop of Freeride World Tour 2022 ran to successful completion today in Baqueira Beret, Spain. With spectacular conditions, an electric local crowd in attendance, and mind-blowing performances, the event marked the first-ever FWT event in Spain.
Starting the day was the Women's Snowboard category. Tour veteran Erika Vikander (USA) achieved a blazing start to her season, with smooth riding and a sequence of stylish air that allowed her to take the win — her first event victory in her career. Coming in 2nd was Spanish rider Núria Castán Barón (ESP), who was followed in 3rd by Tiphanie Perrotin (FRA).
Men’s Snowboard followed, with Michael Mawn (USA) taking the top spot with multiple tricks spread out across a creative, powerful line. Despite losing his spot on the World Tour in '21, he was able to regain qualification through the Freeride World Qualifier the very same season, with his win today clearly demonstrating his rightful place amongst the world's best. Camille Armand (FRA) and Cody Bramwell (UK) rounded out the Men’s Snowboard podium.
In Women’s Ski, Olivia McNeill (CAN) made a stunning comeback to the FWT after suffering an injury in 2021. The young Canadian seamlessly connected two massive airs, showing a clean, aggressive technique to convincingly take the victory in her category. In 2nd was Hedvig Wessel (NOR), followed in 3rd by Zuzanna Witych (POL).
Absolutely stealing the show was 19-year-old Max Palm (SWE), who won Men’s Ski with the first-ever successful double backflip in FWT history. He followed this stunning maneuver with more freestyle elements, all backed by rock-solid, energetic skiing from top to bottom. Palm was closely followed in second place by the local rookie, Abel Moga (ESP) and Craig Murray (NZL), who, despite incredible runs of their own could not match the young Swede’s historic performance. Immediately following the results, Palm (who competed in Spain as a single-event Wildcard) received notification that he was invited to compete in the entire season of the Tour.