PyeongChang 2018 Sport Week: Snowboard Ones to Watch06.02.2018
These six athletes could be celebrating at the top of the podium in March
Lisa Bunschoten, Netherlands
The SB-LL2 Dutch rider has not been able to beat her mentor in Bibian Mentel-Spee on the big stages, including runner-up finishes at the 2017 Worlds. However she has been a serious contender on the World Cup circuit, going undefeated so far this season.
Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon, France
The French snowboarder has got the better of rival Brenna Huckaby so far this season, leading the women’s SB-LL1 overall standings ahead of the US athlete. Huckaby may be the world champion, but Hernandez-Cervallon’s latest World Cup victories in Pyha, Finland, give her the edge.
Brenna Huckaby, USA
The energetic 22-year-old is the reigning double-world champion, and the heavy favourite to win the snowboard-cross and banked slalom events in the women’s SB-LL1, despite trailing in this season’s World Cup standings. PyeongChang will be her Paralympic Games debut.
Mike Minor, USA
Minor emerged on the scene in the 2015-16 World Cup season, where he won the banked slalom SB-UL title. He went on to take all accolades in the next World Cup season, as well as win two World Championship medals in Big White, Canada. This 2017-18 World Cup season is no different as leads the overall standings heading into his first Paralympics.
Matti Suur-Hamari, Finland
Suur-Hamari made a statement at the 2017 World Championships in Big White, Canada, where he won both the men’s cross and banked slalom SB-LL2 titles. Having picked up wins in both Landgraaf and Pyha, he is a strong favourite to claim his first Paralympic medals in PyeongChang. But he will face stiff competition from the likes of the USA’s Evan Strong and Mike Shea; and Japan’s Gurimu Narita.
Chris Vos, Netherlands
Vos may still be a teenager, but he is already a four-time world champion. He turns 20 in the end of February, and the SB-LL1 rider is a contender to add Paralympic golds to his resume. His results from this season’s World Cups have not been consistent so far, but his speed remains his biggest weapon.