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6 Young Winter Athletes to Watch in 2020

10 January 2020

If you don’t know their names yet, you will do soon. We shine the spotlight on the future world champions…

As both the freeride and freestyle competition calendar heat up and the Youth Winter Olympics approach, our winter ambassadors are primed and ready to bring their A-game to the World Stage. For our younger ambassadors, their stories are just beginning, and we’re stoked to support these guys as they continue to make their mark on the rankings this season. Introducing 6 young SunGod ambassadors you won’t want to miss this winter…

SunGod Ambassador, Ruby Andrews sending it to the moon in training last month.Photo: Prime Park Sessions

1. Maxime Chabloz - Freeride Ski

Unlike most of us mere mortals, Swiss born Maxime Chabloz isn’t satisfied with dominating the rankings in just the one sport. Instead, this man of many talents holds Junior World Championship titles in both Kite Surfing and Freeride Skiing. Now 18, Max is about to make his mark on the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) Circuit.

Career highlights so far: My win at the Freeride Junior World Championships in Kappl 2019.
Why freeriding: When I began kitesurfing professionally, I started to miss skiing. The two sports are very similar really. I love how style and aptitude is judged as opposed to time and it’s different every time you do it!
Most excited for in 2020: Being able to do back-flips in my runs!
Favorite trick: It would have to be a Flat 7.
Long term ambition: To be Freeride World Champion.

Fresh from winning the Freeride Junior World Championships, Max is looking to make his mark on the FWQ circuit this year.

2. Ruby Andrews - Freestyle Ski

14-year-old Kiwi Ruby Andrews has only been competing in freestyle for two years but don’t be fooled - A total natural, she has exploded onto the Freestyle scene in New Zealand and has a promising year of international competition ahead for 2020…

Career highlights so far: 2nd place at the NZ Winter Games slopestyle at Cardrona 2019, as well as getting invited to the Jossi Wells invitational event, where I was one of the youngest competitors.
Why freestyle: I love freestyle skiing because you can make it your own, there are no boundaries and no wrong way to do something. It's super progressive and there is always something new to learn.
Most excited for in 2020: I am super pumped to be competing in the 2020 Youth Olympics and I will also be taking part in the Dew Tour team event for modified pipe in Colorado in February.
Favorite trick: Switch 900 Mute Grab.
Long term ambition: To compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. I hope to be an athlete that younger girls can aspire to and to actively promote women’s skiing on the international stage.

Despite her young age, Ruby is showing huge promise on the Freestyle scene. Photo: Hamish McDougall

3. Rémi Benamo – Freeride Snowboard

Reigning Swiss Junior Freeride Snowboard champion, 19-year-old Rémi Benamo will be stepping up to the big leagues this year to compete on the FWQ circuit. We’re confident that he will be a force to be reckoned with as he chases down the ultimate dream of scoring a spot on the Freeride World Tour.

Career highlights so far: I am 3-times Swiss snowboard champion and 2-times vice champion at the Freeride Junior Tour for Europe and Oceania.
Why freeriding: : To freeride is to be free in the mountains and as creative as you like. Simple!
Most excited for in 2020: It’s my first year on the FWQ tour and I am keen to see how my skills will compare to my peers!
Favorite trick: 360 with Indie Grab.
Long term ambition: To snowboard in Greenland, accessing lines by boat and to compete on the Freeride World Tour.

Rémi is about to embark on his first season on the FWQ tour and we're stoked to see how he progresses.

4. Connie Brogden – Freestyle ski

British born, USA raised, Connie Brogden swapped racing for Freestyle when she was 12 and hasn’t looked back. Now 18 and a member of the GB Park and Pipe Squad, 2020 should be a big year for Connie.

Career highlights so far: Winning the Junior World Championships last year and joining the GB Park and Pipe team this year.
Why freestyle: In this sport you can do whatever run you want and have fun with it in your own way. The people in freestyle are all very laid back and there for one another. In other sports, everyone gets so competitive and they lose sight of having fun while training and competing but in freestyle this rarely happens.
Most excited for in 2020: Competing in more World Cups than ever and also competing in my first Slopestyle World Cup at the end of January.
Favorite trick: My favorite trick to do in competitions is a 900, as when I land the trick I know that I put a run down that I can be proud of and even though I may have been a little intimidated, I was still able to put it down on snow.
Long term ambition: To represent Great Britain in the Winter Olympics in Halfpipe and hopefully Slopestyle too. I would also like to compete in bigger competitions such as the X Games and the Dew Tour in the next few years.

"I just want to keep pushing my limits and help progress the sport for girls, as it has already shown so much growth just in this past season."

5. Liam Rivera – Freeride Snowboard

19 year old Liam Rivera was born in Mexico and raised in Switzerland. Winning the Junior World Tour isn’t enough for Liam though and this year he will be stepping up his campaign to qualify for the Freeride World Tour.

Career highlights so far: Winning the Freeride Junior Tour and coming 2nd at the Freeride Junior World Championships.
Why freeriding: It’s the most raw form of riding, everyone has a slightly different style and can express themselves best through freeriding. You can chose your own line with the features you like.
Most excited for in 2020: Being able to ride every day without having school in the back of my mind. I’m really excited to have a winter to progress my riding as much as possible and have fun in the mountains.
Favorite trick: That’s a hard one! if I had to choose I guess it would be a Frontside 360.
Long term ambition: My goal for now is to qualify for the FWT and see where that takes me!

After a successful FWQ season last winter, Liam will continue his campaign to qualify for the Freeride World Tour this year. Photo: Sasha Gasteiner

6. Kirsty Muir - Freestyle Ski

15-year-old British born skier, Kirsty Muir is happiest when sliding rails and tearing up kickers. Now old enough to compete in World Cups, Kirsty is continuing to turn heads on the international Freestyle circuit.

Career highlights so far: 2nd and 3rd in the Junior World Championships last year in Slopestyle and Big Air.
Why freestyle: I love being in the mountains and hitting the big jumps. I love Freestyle because I like being in the air, sending tricks and being creative!
Most excited for in 2020: I am looking forward to building up my trick repertoire and competing at the Youth Olympic Games!
Favorite trick: I really enjoy Switch Misty 9's and big laid out backflips!
Long term ambition: Keep improving and trying new things and to compete in the biggest competitions.

Also a member of GB Park and Pipe for this winter, Kirsty has a promising year ahead. Photo: Prime Park Sessions

Remember their names, commit them to memory and keep an eye out for these athletes in the coming few years. We're stoked to be supporting such ambitious and successful young athletes and look forward to seeing what's in store for them!

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