At long last it’s here: the final round of voting for the 2017 Downdays European Skier of the Year! The four skiers below have fought their way through five hotly contested voting rounds to earn their spot in the finals. Meet your 2017 ESOTY finalists now!
This seventeen-year-old Slopestyle and Big Air skier from Switzerland narrowly bested her Swiss Freeski Team teammate Giulia Tanno in last week’s Semifinals round to claim a finals spot. Her biggest moment in 2017 came when she won the Oslo X Games Big Air with a flawless switch double cork 1080. “In just one year I achieved some things that people didn’t expect,” she says. “It was kind of a surprise for everyone. For me too, though!” Now she’s surprised herself into the European Skier of the Year finals!
Hailing from the Aran Valley in the north of Spain, 28-year-old freerider Aymar Navarro prevailed over big names like Candide Thovex and Antti Ollila on his way to the ESOTY finals. Last season he became the first Spaniard to podium on the Freeride World Tour, launched the second season of his popular “South Lines” webisode series, and he just picked up a wildcard invitation to the 2018 Freeride World Tour. With thousands of enthusiastic fans backing him, Aymar’s now ready to step into the ring in the final round.
She may be only fifteen years old, but Kelly Sildaru has already achieved something close to legendary status in the skiing world. Regarded as a future champion since she was a pre-teen, Kelly is living that future now, picking up podium after podium on a run of competitive dominance. Last season she won the Dew Tour slopestyle, picked up her second consecutive slopestyle gold medal at the Aspen X Games, and took second in Big Air at both the Aspen and Oslo X Games. Last but not least, she also won the halfpipe contest at the Junior World Championships, showing herself to be a potential threat in three different disciplines.
It’s no surprise to see Henrik in the ESOTY finals; after all, he won the vote last year. The 26-year-old Swedish phenom has been at the top of his game for much of the last decade, and is still getting better each year with an inimitable style that wows judges and drives his fans into raptures. In 2017 he continued his legacy-building with Big Air gold at the Oslo X Games and two silver medals—in Slopestyle and the Real Ski video contest—from Aspen X, all while bagging what he says is “some of my best footage yet” for a two-year video project dropping next fall.