Gremaud’s toughest test will likely come in the form of Tess Ledeux of France, who is coming off a disappointing eighth place finish in Beijing after qualifying in top spot but failing to put down her run in finals. Ledeux also has runner-up finished behind Gremaud at both the Big Air Chur and in Stubai, so you can bet she’ll be extra motivated to best her fellow 23-year-old in the Copper competition this week.
Gremaud was joined on the Beijing podium by Kirsty Muir (GBR) and World Cup rookie Flora Tabanelli (ITA), and both of those two should very much be in the podium competition this week.
Muir has by now firmly established herself as one of the best and most consistent freeskiers in the world, making finals at every World Cup since the start of the 2021/22 season and bagging a couple of second-place finishes in the process. Tabanelli, meanwhile, has used the momentum from her Junior World Championships big air gold won in September to transition seamlessly to establishing herself as a contender on the World Cup circuit.
Bakuriani 2023 big air World Championships silver medallist Sandra Eie, Rell Harwood of the host US squad, and Giulia Tanno are a few of the other names to watch out for in the women’s competition this week.
HOME SOIL HALL THE MAN TO BEAT
Over on the men’s side of things it’s tough to know where exactly to begin with a start list that includes essentially every heavy hitter that there is in competitive freeskiing, so we’ll start at the top where the USA’s over Alex Hall sits tied for the big air World Cup lead after earning an impressive win in Beijing. Hall’s blend of technical wizardry and unmistakably unique style puts him in an exalted tier of near-universal respect, with anonymous online commenters and World Cup judges alike able to appreciate what he brings to the table.