After almost a week of amazing action, Germany's Lisa Zimmermann and Switzerland's Elena Könz were crowned queen of the queens at the Suzuki Nine Queens 2014 in Livigno, Italy!
In majestic company of some of the best freeski and snowboard pros from the whole wide world, their win was surely not an easy one but fiercely battled for on this sunny blue bird day on the Mottolino Fun Mountain in the Italian Alps. Lisa once again ruled the freeskiers final of four-runs with a breezy 900 tail grab and a switch 1080 mute - her very first! She was followed by Sweden's Emma Dahlström, who had been among the queens before, but got a crown for the first time for her combo of a cork 720 tail grab and a stunning switch 720 mute. Rounding off the freeski podium was Keri Herman, who has got to be the girl sporting the biggest grin all week, who was either dancing around, euro-carving or sneaking the snowcat transport back up whenever we saw her. Landing her very first 900 safety after stomping a floaty switch cork 540 in the finals might even make her smiles until next year...
Elena made sure she's the first lady in snowboarding with her signature backside 540 mute and smooth frontside 720 melon, mixing technical difficulty with effortless style, impressing judging panel member Kjersti Buaas: “Elena did so many technical tricks, all different direction spins, poking out her grabs, and she sent her frontside 720 far down the landing, holding the grab all the way. With layback backflips in between, just having a good time while progressing."
Biggest surprise of the event (next to Charlotte Van Gils' super last minute trip from riding the park in Breckenridge to riding the replacement spot for injured Anna Gasser a day (!!) later) was Wanna Be Queen? video contest winner Jessika Jenson from the US, who threw down a corked backside 720 and a huge backside 540. Third place was occupied by Jenny Jones frontside 900 and Isabel Derungs' cork backside 720.
Special props also go out to French skier Anais Caradeux, who was the only girl having a go at the insanely huge transfer from the kicker in the middle of the pipe (check this image if you haven't seen the set up yet) to the landing of the left jump, and Charlotte, who was the only one to try a 1080 rotation. If that's not progression, you tell us what is!
Watch this clip from Saturday first though, and maybe even wait for the full edit of the week, which might just change your minds. And a fun little GoPro number from ourselves as well (although that's gonna be a lot more to do with just fun than progression, though you could argue that that's a vital ingredient to progression as well, but we'll get into that another day...)