SOURCE: Association of Freeskiing Professionals

Association of Freeskiing Professionals

April 06, 2011 12:32 ET

The Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Championships Appropriately Set to Take Place at the Olympic-Sized Halfpipe in Whistler

AFP World Championships Join the World Ski Invitational at Whistler Blackcomb's Degree Superpipe April 20th Through April 24th

PARK CITY, UT--(Marketwire - April 6, 2011) -  On the heels of the announcement that freeskiing will join the competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) prepares to crown a winner at the First Annual AFP World Championship in Whistler, BC, beginning April 20th. The top freeskiing athletes in the world will be on hand to showcase their talents following the historic announcement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that ski halfpipe is now an Olympic sport. The news has been welcomed by athletes and fans alike as the 2010/2011 competition season comes to a close. 

"This is incredible news for the sport of freeskiing. We're excited to take on the upcoming qualifications process and to ultimately reward these athletes with the recognition they deserve," said AFP co-founder and media director Christopher Jerard. "You can bet competitors will be energized at the AFP World Championship knowing that they are now potential Olympic athletes."

Freeskiing, in which competitors are judged for technicality and style in many disciplines, is comprised of athletes from all around the world. The AFP acts as a governing body for the sport, providing measurable results and structure, and continues to push for growth on the professional level. In freeskiing's Olympic debut, the AFP world rankings, the only global ranking of its kind, will likely play a part in the selection of the field of competitors. In January, the AFP rankings were used by many National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to select the teams that represented their countries at the World Championships, which took place this past February in Park City, Utah. 

"Freeskiing has definitely come into its own," said Troy Michels of Target Lifestyle Marketing, a founding sponsor of the AFP. "We've witnessed freeskiing's evolution from the creation of the twin-tip ski, to Simon Dumont and Torin Yater-Wallace doing double corks in the pipe, and there is still more room to progress."

The highly-anticipated announcement is not surprising to many freeskiiers, who have witnessed a significant jump in competition in the past few years. Steele Spence, AFP director of athlete relations, had this to say about the growing sport, "The field of competitors has never been deeper or stronger. Talent is emerging from all parts of the world, as we've seen skiers like Bobby Brown and Kevin Rolland rise to the top in the past year alone. The next two years are going to be fun to watch."

"Since I've started competing, the level of skiing has never been higher than it is now," said Simon Dumont, AFP board member, inaugural AFP men's overall champion and Target-sponsored athlete since 2006. "We've got kids like my teammate on Target, Torin, who is only 15 years old and just bursting onto the scene. It makes sense for us to compete on the biggest world stage there is." 

For more information on upcoming events and news, visit http://afpworldtour.com.

About AFP

The Association of Freeskiing Professionals, founded in 2007 by athletes and industry veterans in conjunction with founding sponsor Target, is an organization responsible for implementing a balanced global rider ranking system and to serve as a unified voice for athletes and for freeskiing to the world. Made up of top athletes and key influencers within the sport of freeskiing, the AFP (http://afpworldtour.com) is proactive in directing the future of events, judging, growth and evolution of the sport as well as fostering opportunities for emerging riders to climb a clear ladder to higher levels of competition. Additionally, the AFP assists domestic and international promoters and governing bodies to ensure consistent on-hill competition organization and judging.