2014 "Nine Queens" event makes the female freestyle go higher, shine brighter, live stronger.

“Girls fear nothing”. These words could be the motto of this ever impressing event, where the girls who have no fear gather, to get some fun stomping tricks on the most extraordinary set up of the season. On skis, and, for the first time this year, on snowboards, the most rock’n'roll, funky, extreme and daring female riders gathered in Livigno, Italy, from the 26th to the 30th of March 2014, to ride the “Castle” at the 2014 “Nine Queens” event. Just for the sensations, or to enter the Big Air competition, but most of all to live up to the expectations of all the girls, like us, who watch them from the ground.

 

The “Castle” easily sends two riders in the air ©Nine Queens/Christoph Schöch

The “Castle” easily sends two riders in the air
©Nine Queens/Christoph Schöch

 

A blazing sun, really good snow and a beautiful castle giving an infinite number of possibilities on the Mottolino Fun Mountain in Livigno. Everything was set for this 2014 “Nine Queens” edition to be perfect. The riders, like Grete Eliassen (USA), Jenny Jones (GBR), Silje Norendal (NOR), Keri Herman (USA) or Emma Dahlström (SWE), the photographers, the young amateur freestyle skier who won the “Wanna Be A Queen” contest, the public, the volunteers… Not a single soul who was there will tell you otherwise. And it was, for the fourth time, a wonderful event, like the smile of Virginie Faivre, talented freestyler and very spirit of the event.

 

Emma Dahlström in action on the kicker ©Nine Queens/David Malacrida

Emma Dahlström in action on the kicker
©Nine Queens/David Malacrida

 

We met Virginie at the “Tignes Air Ladies”, Marie Martinod event in tribute to Sarah Burke. She was the telling us about her winter, her back injury, and why this particular event meant so much to her:

 

” I broke my back in October, even before the winter had started. This injury forced me to be very careful and to stay away from the skis for a while. This was very hard, especially with the Olympics coming, but I tried my best to be careful, in order to let my back heal properly, ski a minimum, and come back as soon as possible in the best of shape.

 

The “Nine Queens” is a very beautiful event, made for the girls, and I am proud to represent it. We almost cancelled the event this year, because the snow in Serfaus (in Austria, the usual location of the Nine Queens event) was in so bad shape it was impossible to build the castle. Then the organizers decided to move the event to Livigno, on the same site as the Nine Knights (the event for the male riders), and build the our castle next to the boys’, while keeping to distinct events.

 

The main goal of this event is to create image and video materials to be braodcasted in the media, to help the coverage and the broadcasting of our sport, to show to the world that the girls do have a rightful place in this sport. We put in place great means for that, with heli shootings, night shootings, the guest photographers are the best young and confirmed talents in action sports photography and they give the best of themselves for the photo contest.

 

This creates an incredible atmosphere where everyone pushes their limits, trying to do the best trick, get the best shot. Sarah (Burke) was here for the first edition and she landed her first switch 1080°, the first in our sport’s history, making feminine freestyle enter a new era. Every year now we see riders stomp new tricks, realize individual and collective firsts, every year we go bigger, while making it safely and enjoying it. This is a time where we meet new people as well as ourselves, we push each other. This is not only a mere competition, this is a time marker, a moment of evolution for our sport.”

 

Toute la magie du Nine Queens dans une image ©Nine Queens/Klaus Polzer

One image can hold all the magic of the Nine Queens
©Nine Queens/Klaus Polzer

 

And if the riders always surprise us, the organizers too had a surprise this year with the addition of a snowboard category. And as the judgement criteria are creativity, progression and fun, this year’s edition gave dramatic photos and videos, as much by the beauty and the style of the tricks as by the emotion that was given. And this year’s Great Queens of freestyle were officially crowned: Isabel Derungs (SWI) in snowboard, for the incredible consistency she showed throughout her season and this week, for her talent and smile ; Emma Dahlström in ski, for the energy and passion she leaves in her wake, for her versatility and unique style.

 

In this sense, in each category, “Best GoPro Shot”, “Best Style” and “Overall”, in ski as in snowboard, the awards were given by the riders, acting as judges and parties of a competition where the main goal is the make the feminine freestyle go higher, shine brighter, live stronger. A goal that was obviously reached this year, and will be, as we’ll see, for the years to come.

 

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Know more about the 2014 Nine Queens

Emily - EN
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