Colorado-native Gus Kenworthy followed up his red-hot 2014-15 winter with an even better 2015-16 competitive season. from start to finish he capped off one of the best competitive freeski seasons in the past decade, if not ever. Bell-to-bell Kenworthy was firing on all cylinders as he made his way towards a fifth consecutive World Title, four X Games medals and defense of his Winter Dew Tour title
After coming off of a torn meniscus and fractured femur at the end of the 2015 winter, Kenworthy had little time on skis to acclimate himself before the 2015-16 contest season started in Breckenridge, CO. With only three days on snow beforehand, Gus managed to defend his title in the slopestyle event (after crashing out in the halfpipe contest). “I think I knew I was prepared,” Gus told Alli Sports. “I tried to wait with the recovery. I wanted to come back really strong, and I felt since I’ve been back on snow, that my skiing’s back on the level it was before I got hurt.”
MEC’s Jossi Wells finished in 2nd behind Kenworthy, while MEC teammates David Wise and Beau-James Wells finished one-two in the halfpipe contest.
X Games has been a huge hurdle for Gus over the years. He’s managed just one medal (a bronze in 2013) at the Winter X Games Europe event in Tignes, but never a medal in Aspen, despite being the only three-discipline competitor. Something changed this year for Kenworthy as he double medaled in both the Aspen event and the Oslo event, managing a medal in all three disciplines. In Aspen he snagged a silver in both slopestyle and superpipe (with many pundits giving him the gold in superpipe). In the inaugural Oslo event, Gus took home double bronzes in the Big Air and Halfpipe events.
Kenworthy shared the podiums with MEC’s Jossi Wells at Aspen’s Slopestyle, and Henrik Harlaut on the Oslo Big Air stage.
After skipping a few events in the middle of the season—-US Grand Prix at Boston & FIS Olympic Test Event in Korea—–Gus had one last event to attend, the European Freeski Open, which is the largest Open event in the world, and by far the biggest slopestyle in Europe.
In a manner that would befit his season, Gus entered with no expectations, and came away with the win, the first time he’s ever won the storied event. “It feels really, really good [to end the season with a win],” said Kenworthy. “I kind of had not the highest expectations for myself at this event. I came in feeling like I’d already had a good season and wanted to have a fun contest to end the year. Of course, it’s always nice to do well but I didn’t think I was going to win by any means. So to put down a run I’m happy with and end the season with a win, it feels really good.” He shared the podium with fellow MEC athlete James Woods, and MEC female athlete Emma Dahlstrom podium’d, as well.
When all the dust had settled from his 2015-16 winter, Gus had tallied seven podium finishes, literally hitting the box at all but one contest he entered. And despite suffering a bruised heel in the middle of the winter, Kenworthy’s contest efficacy remained as elite, en route to his historic year.
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