Born from a desire to recognize standout individuals in the European freeskiing community, the European Skier of the Year contest presented by Monster Energy has been hosted by Downdays since 2014.
Mathilde at the Corvatsch slopestyle. Photo: Filip Zuan
Mathilde’s big highlight in 2021 was no doubt landing the first switch double cork 1440 in women’s competition to claim her third X Games Big Air gold medal. She made a strong showing at FIS events as well, taking silver in slopestyle at the World Ski Championships and third at the Corvatsch World Cup slopestyle. After all that competing she still found some time to film, scoring the closing shots of the women’s segment in the 2021 Faction Skis movie, Roots.
Tess on her way to the win at Big Air Chur. Photo: Ethan Stone
Already a competitive force to be reckoned with, Tess rose to her potential in 2021, picking up podiums left and right on her way to the overall World Cup slopestyle title. She took second at the Kreischberg Big Air and won the slopestyles in Aspen and Corvatsch. In the fall she picked up right where she’d left off, taking first and second at the Big Airs in Chur and Steamboat respectively, and winning the Dew Tour slopestyle to boot. That’s a whole lot of hardware for one calendar year.
Markus filming for The Ultimate Run. Photo: Legs of Steel/Red Bull
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know why Markus Eder is on this list. Currently closing in on six million views on YouTube, Makke’s epic two-year project “The Ultimate Run” showcased the former Freeride World Tour champ and consummate all-rounder at his finest, shredding everything from steep Swiss faces to South Tyrolean castle walls, with some park and street tossed in for good measure. It’s rare that a single project will put someone in the running for Skier of the Year, but no doubt about it: this is that project, and this is that someone.
Matěj at the Audi Nines. Photo: Tanguy Henrijean
Matěj broke out in 2021—a breakout that’s still ongoing as I write this text. The young Czech-turned-Austrian phenomenon first put us on notice by winning the Junior World Championships Big Air with a switch quad 1620. Shortly thereafter he was voted Ruler of the Week by his peers at Audi Nines. Then he kicked off the 21/22 contest season by winning the first two big airs in Chur and Steamboat back to back. Last but not least, he logged a healthy share of jaw-dropping clips in Faction’s Roots.
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