Last December, after an intense selection process, the team captains for Europe and the Americas unveiled the eight elite skiers they will bring to Zermatt, Switzerland for the unique intercontinental team battle in anticipation of the 5th edition of the Swatch Skiers Cup.
The pressure is on this year as both teams are ready to break the 2-2 tie, with Team Americas defending their 2014 title. The line up is as strong and versatile as ever with returning "All Star"athletes teaming up with the latest newcomers. The key to winning the Swatch Skiers Cup is not necessarily the sum of a team’s individual talents; but rather the right combination of freeride and freestyle skills, team spirit, and consistency.
Veteran Captain Julien Regnier (FRA) will be excited to welcome back Richard Permin (FRA) to Team Europe following his stand out part in Matchstick Productions 2014 release "Days Of My Youth"and subsequent explosion on the international scene. Team Europe can also count on the experience of the iconic freerider and co-founder of the Skiers Cup, former team captain Sverre Liliequist (SWE). New talent has been added to the team with rookie, Sven Kueenle (GER). The creative and multi-talented Fabien Maierhofer (FRA) is back along with Chamonix native Sam Favret (FRA) and Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) who complete the French Connection. That leaves just two more riders to round off one of the strongest Team Europe line ups we have seen, swiss Nicolas Vuignier (SUI), and last years Head Mountain Guide, Samuel Anthamatten (SUI).
Team Europe Members Presented By Captain Julien Regnier:
Richard PERMIN (FRA)
Home Mountain: Vallnord (AND)
Julien says: "The Lion: Richie charges so hard it looks like he has no fear. Super fast skiing and big airs – I wouldn’t want to battle against him. He is also a really strong freestyle skier, he can send doubles off some of the biggest park jumps so he’s for sure one of my big names for the Backcountry Slopestyle day".
Loic COLLOMB-PATTON (FRA)
Home Mountain: La Clusaz (FRA)
Julien is Speechless. This rider is the definition of an all-round skier. Competed in both alpine (as a kid), moguls skiing, halfpipe (runner-up World Champion 2005), slopestyle and latest in freeride where he happens to be the reigning World Champion!
Sverre LILIEQUIST (SWE)
Home: Stockholm (SWE)
Julien says: "The Bear: Sverre and Kaj have really similar styles on and off the snow. Sverre is a super solid Big Mountain rider with really strong alpine-style turns, huge cliff stomps, and a crazy backflip".
Fabien MAIERHOFER (FRA)
Home Mountain: Les Ménuires (FRA)
Julien says: "The Wolf: Unfortunately Fabien is one of my best friends so he can only disappoint me as a great French thinker once said. Fab has more than a few tricks in his bag it will be interesting who he will battle".
Sam FAVRET (FRA)
Home Mountain: Chamonix (FRA)
Julien says: "The Fox: A very solid skier in both disciplines, Sam has strong legs and he knows how to use them. He built his reputation as a freestyle skier, but this Chamonix-based man knows how to freeride the craziest Big Mountain terrain, too".
Nicolas VUIGNIER (SUI)
Home Mountain: Crans Montana (SUI)
Julien says: "The Owl: Nico is the smooth operator he is clean and precise, I just love the way he make is turns and he is a very good card for the freestyle day of course. A very original rider that sees things his own way".
Sven KUEENLE (GER)
Home: Munich (GER)
Julien says: "The Lynx: Sven has been traveling the world for fresh powder, building kickers and ripping lines for more than ten years. It is a great honor to have him in the team I know he will give all he has".
Sam ANTHAMATTEN (SUI)
Home Mountain: Zermatt, Switzerland. Swatch Proteam
Julien says: "The Squirrel: Sam goes fast. Sam can spin. Sam is a guide. Sam can climb, yes Sam is all that and Sam better win some battles - he is the pride of Zermatt after all!"