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ESOTY 2023

The 2023 European Skiers Of The Year are…

By: Ethan Stone March 06, 2024

Who killed it hardest in 2023? We asked and you voted in the 2023 European Skier of the Year contest presented by Peak Performance, Head and Tyrolia.

Four voting rounds, 44 nominees and over 45,000 votes cast: the 2023 European Skier of the Year vote is in the books. Without further ado, here are your winners!

2023 European Skier Of The Year: Tess Ledeux

The most memorable, however — and the one that told us the most about Tess’ competitive mindset — was her Big Air victory at the FIS World Championships. After landing a double cork 1620 clean on her first hit, she had two more chances to put down a second trick. After crashing once on a switch double cork 1260 attempt, Tess could have backed off on her third hit with a switch 1080 or 900 and still would have won the contest. But she went for broke, sending the switch dub 12 again, this time cleanly to her feet.

This moment defined Tess as a competitor. She’s either going to win with her best tricks, or go home having at least tried them. It’s that grit and tenacity that has made her one of skiing’s most prodigious competitors, and which propelled her to the top of the ESOTY vote. After many years in the running, this is Tess’ first ESOTY win. Congratulations!

Tess after her win at the World Championships in Bakuriani. Noah Wallace
Tess Ledeux competes in Big Air at the 2023 U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colorado
Tess at the Copper Big Air. Chad Buchholz/FIS
Here's Tess going all or nothing at the 2023 World Championships in less than optimal conditions. FIS Freestyle

2023 European Skier Of The Year: Nikolai Schirmer

Amid a field crowded with freestyle stars and Freeride World Tour chargers, Nikolai Schirmer bucked the trend as one of the only skiers in this year’s ESOTY contest not on a competitive circuit. But don’t let that deceive you — Niko is without doubt one of the world’s most talented skiers. That’s clearly demonstrated in last year’s Matchstick Productions movie “The Land of Giants” as well as in the award-winning short film “The Draconians.”

Beyond movie appearances, though, Niko is most well-known as a content creator in his own right. When you drop into his highly successful YouTube channel you realize the full scope of Niko’s talent — not just climbing and skiing massive lines on seemingly a daily basis, but documenting them in a savvy fashion that’s perfectly attuned today’s media environment.

Niko doubles down with his second ESOTY win. courtesy Nikolai Schirmer
courtesy Nikolai Schirmer

This is Nikolai’s second ESOTY title following a win in 2019. Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who voted in the 2023 European Skier Of The Year contest, and to our sponsors Peak Performance, Head and Tyrolia.

In "The Draconians" from Black Crows, Nikolai shows Sam Favret around some heavy lines in Norway. A must-see. Clustr Films