Despite frosty temperatures, Monster Energy’s snow sports team delivered! The brand congratulated its team of freeski and snowboard athletes on a strong performance at the Snow Rodeo competition in Calgary, Canada. In the official World Cup event sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS), athletes from across the globe competed for Olympic qualifier points in Freeski and snowboard disciplines from December 30, 2021, to January 1, 2022, at WinSport Canada Olympic Park.
In the competitive Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle final on Saturday, 17-year-old snowboard prodigy Kokomo Murase from Gifu, Japan put down a dominant performance to claim first place. This marks the first FIS World Cup victory in the slopestyle discipline for the Japanese Olympic prospect, who also received the traditional Snow Rodeo cowboy hat as a trophy.
Earlier in Thursday’s Women’s Freeski Halfpipe final, Monster Army rider Hanna Faulhaber stomped a perfect run to claim second place. Earning her first FIS World Cup podium spot, the 17-year-old from Carbondale, Colorado, posted the day’s highest aerials and scored qualifier points for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
This week’s Snow Rodeo presented by Swatch and Toyota marked the event’s second iteration as a ski and snowboard competition in Calgary. Featuring contests in halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines, the FIS World Cup event offered athletes the second chance of the 2021/22 season to qualify for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Here’s how the action unfolded this weekend for Team Monster Energy:
Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle
On Saturday afternoon, the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle discipline was contested as a special New Year’s Day event on the downhill obstacle course, designed by Stomping Grounds Projects snow park builders. The eight riders in the final hailed from Japan, Canada, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Just in time for the daytime event, the previously overcast skies opened, and temperatures climbed significantly after several days of polar vortex-induced chills. With several riders posting perfect runs, Monster Energy’s Murase upped the ante by landing a flawless routine on her first attempt.
In the technical rails section, Murase finessed a backside boardslide pretzel, Half Cab 50-50 frontside 360 out, followed by a gap lipslide 270 out on the Toyota rail feature. Heading into the jump section with speed, she landed a front-side 720 tail grab, backside 720 mute grab, and crippler melon grab on the final side-hit obstacle for a 77.58-point score and first place.
“[Snow Rodeo] was really tough because I was really nervous before the competition. But I’m so happy to win my first slopestyle World Cup today,” said Murase upon winning Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle in Calgary.
On the strength of Saturday’s victory, Murase now ranks at the top of FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe overall standings with 236 points. She also currently holds first place in the Slopestyle rankings that determine Olympic qualification and third place in the Big Air discipline.
Earlier this season, Murase claimed the win at the 2021 Big Air Festival Chur as well as third place in Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle at Dew Tour Copper 2021. Heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Murase is considered a podium threat in Big Air and Slopestyle disciplines with an impressive record to boot. At X Games Norway 2018, she became the youngest Winter X Games athlete ever to win a gold medal, at age 13. She also made history as the first girl to land a 1260 double cork aerial in competition.
Women’s Freeski Halfpipe
On Thursday night, the action in Calgary kicked off with the Women’s Ski Superpipe final amid biting cold on the Olympic Park superpipe. Eight of the world’s leading halfpipe skiers were looking to post the best score in three runs. Countries represented included China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
In the highly competitive field, 17-year-old Monster Army rider Hanna Faulhaber from Carbondale, Colorado came in as a rookie. But despite her young age, the Olympic hopeful had already made her mark this season: Earlier in December, the young US Ski Team rider stole the spotlight with a breakout performance in a third-place finish at Dew Tour Copper.
Blasting aerials higher than the rest of the field, Faulhaber rose all the way to claiming her first career World Cup podium. On her first run in the nighttime final under the floodlights, she put down a perfect routine including a huge tail grab off the top, leftside and rightside flair safety grabs, cork 720 safety landed backside, switch rightside 360, and leftside 540 on the final hit for 92.80 points and second place.
“It’s a crazy one for sure. It’s great to be able to put down consistently and I’m just happy to keep it going. I don’t know really what to say, I’m just excited for how it’s going and it’s unbelievable–I never thought that I would be here,” said Faulhaber upon claiming her first FIS World Cup podium in Calgary.
Prior to competing in Calgary, the young U.S. Pro Halfpipe Ski Team rider placed third in the 2020 Youth Olympics and fourth in the 2021 Ski Halfpipe World Championships. She currently holds third place overall in the FIS Women’s Ski Halfpipe World Cup rankings with 125 points.
For more on Kokomo Murase, Hanna Faulhaber, and the Monster Energy snow sports team, click HERE. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for exclusive behind-the-scenes looks from the 2022 snow sports season.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes, and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans.