New team captains are announced as freeskiing’s intercontinental showdown heads back to the Matterhorn region.
Press Release, Zermatt, Switzerland — November 5, 2013
After three illustrious years of competition, the Swatch Skiers Cup legacy continues in 2014 when the event returns to Zermatt, Switzerland on January 4-10. This year’s edition features new team captains and new riders, and with Team Europe leading Team Americas by a score of 2 – 1, the impending showdown in the shadow of the Matterhorn promises to be another great one.
In the world of freeskiing, no other competition brings the world’s elite riders together for a single event quite like the Swatch Skiers Cup. With eight select athletes on each team, Team Europe and Team Americas face off in match play format during two days of competition: Big-Mountain (freeride) and Backcountry Slopestyle (freestyle). As 2013’s event proved, the expansive domain of Zermatt guarantees outstanding terrain and the six-day event window gives riders the best possible shot at perfect conditions.
Swatch Skiers Cup 2013
Marc Scheurer, Marketing Director Zermatt Tourism comments: “Zermatt sits in the midst of thirty-eight 4,000-meter Alpine peaks and offers the riders plenty of options to get their kicks. We look forward to a fantastic atmosphere with incredible performances from the two teams. The action on the mountain for the backcountry slopestyle and entertainment in the village are all accessible to the public, which makes this event so special.”
Taking the captain positions in 2014 are two of the true godfathers of modern freeskiing, with Team Americas lead by JP Auclair (CAN) and Team Europe under the direction of Julien Regnier (FRA). The two captains have a long shared history, first competing against each other in world cup mogul competition in 1998 and skiing and working together ever since. The goal of the Swatch Skiers Cup has always been to bring riders from around the world together in an environment that fosters camaraderie and creativity, and the two captains are ideal to progress this mission.
“When we first met it was a blast of new energy and new ideas for skiing. JP is an amazing skier, very creative, a hard worker and I really enjoy skiing with him,” said Regnier of his opponent.
Auclair responded, “I first heard about Julien through my friend JF Cusson who told me about ‘this French guy who was doing really progressive skiing.’ When we met, we instantly hit it off and starting skiing and working on different projects together.”
Event co-founder and 2012 Team Europe Captain Sverre Liliequist (SWE) commented, “Europe beat Team Americas soundly last year, so I’m sure JP will bring a team eager to take back the title. Besides the competitive aspect of the event format, we should remember that even if this is a real battle, it’s also a great week to get together with some incredibly talented athletes from around the world to have fun with each other!”
“The Swatch Skiers Cup is an amazing event,” said Marco Vaccari, Head of Marketing International at Swatch. “The skiers are innovators and incredible performers and they go all out, challenging each other and pushing themselves and freeskiing to the limit. We’re proud to support this spectacular sport and the riders that make it so exciting.”
Though the event doesn’t begin for two months, the strategic battle begins now, as the captains adjust and confirm their team rosters. Full team lineups will be announced in the coming weeks.