Between 2009 and 2013, the coveted Skier of the Year (SOTY) title was based solely upon readers’ votes. Beginning in 2014 and continuing today—the result of feedback from athletes and industry insiders—the SOTY crown is awarded in reflection of nearly 100 professional skiers’ opinions; after all, there is no greater honor than to be re cognized by one’s peers. Names like Wallisch, Harlaut, Morrison, Pollard, Monod, Collinson, Vila and more are all among those who are polled; our voting pool is a carefully crafted assembly of backcountry aficionados, big-mountain assassins, halfpipe slayers, slopestyle gurus and street-skiing stunners, ensuring a well-rounded voice and thereby a fair outcome.
Always keen to discover which athletes are resonating with our audience and to be sure our fans’ sentiments are accounted for, the People’s Choice Award returns for its second year alongside the Riders’ Poll. As was the case in 2014, there was no overlap this go-‘round between the riders’ and readers’ top picks; thus, we recognize four individuals for their stellar performance in the 2014-15 season.
The Riders’ Poll
We reached out to the most esteemed and relevant professional skiers and asked them to rank the five skiers they felt had the best 2014-15 ski season. We leave the definition of “best season” open to interpretation, but ask the athletes to consider film segments, web series and edits, contest results and overall impact.
Nearly 100 top-name pros cast their votes, and each nomination (1-5) corresponds with a point value: A #1 pick earns 10 points; a #2 pick earns five points, and so on. Thereby, if a particular skier shows up consistently in the #3 or #4 slot, they’d still have a shot at faring well in the final tally. The award is regarded as one of the greatest distinctions in skiing.
Without further ado, the 2015 winners are…
People’s Choice Award
FREESKIER nominated more than 200 deserving men and women to battle for the People’s Choice crown. Fans were given seven days to narrow this vast pool to 20 finalists—10 guys, 10 ladies. More than 20,000 votes were cast in the course of a two-week span, solidifying the victors’ standing among FREESKIER readers the world over.
The results shook out as follows…