After two groundbreaking editions of the Swatch Skiers Cup in Valle Nevado, Chile, the event comes to Europe for the first time this February! The riders that will collectively make up Team Europe and Team Americas this year were announced this week. Elite skiers from Big Mountain (freeride) and Slopestyle (freestyle) disciplines have confirmed their attendance for this one-of-a-kind showdown between continents.
Captain Cody Townsend (USA) leads defending champions Team Americas. His team is stacked with new faces such as masterful, multi-talented backcountry riders Rory Bushfield (USA), Charley Ager (USA), and Josh Daiek (USA). On the other side, Kaj Zackrisson (SWE) takes the captain’s seat for Team Europe. Zackrisson’s team benefits from the experience of returning Swatch Skiers Cup riders like Markus Eder (ITA), Paddy Graham (UK), Richard Permin (FRA), and Sverre Liliequist (SWE). Other big names are Nicolas Vuignier (SUI) and Fabio Studer (AUT) who will also attend the event. Each captain knows the other’s strengths and weakness well, as both Zackrisson and Townsend ski together on the elite Swatch Proteam.
Yet despite the intense level of competition, the event ultimately serves to promote camaraderie between riders of different backgrounds. Event co-founder Zackrisson explains: “To see after two editions how stoked and how much fun everyone has during the event is just amazing. Our main goal is to create an event that brings together like-minded people from all over the world and just have a blast laughing and competing in the same time.”
Seven of eight riders are to be announced immediately, with the captains keeping their eighth and final riders a secret until a later date. With Townsend’s and Zackrisson’s teams nearly complete, the captains have less than one month to contemplate their winning strategy. The teams are as follows:
Cody Townsend, Captain (USA), KC Deane (USA), Rory Bushfield (CAN), Charley Ager (CAN), Josh Daiek (USA), Logan Imlach (USA), Timy Dutton (USA), Rider 8 TBC.
Kaj Zackrisson, Captain (SWE), Sverre Liliequist (SWE), Markus Eder (ITA), Richard Permin (FRA), Nicolas Vuignier (CH), Paddy Graham (UK), Fabio Studer (AUT), Rider 8 TBC.