Two time Winter Olympian Finn Bilous (Wānaka, 23) will join the prestigious 2023 Freeride World Tour roster as a season wildcard. Bilous, who has competed at the top of the freeski game for the last six years, is looking forward to transitioning into a different discipline this coming Northern Hemisphere winter.
Bilous explained, “Following on from competing in freeride contests in my younger years, I have prioritised Slopestyle and Big Air over the last two Winter Olympic cycles. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to put more energy back into freeride. I am looking forward to staying true to myself and my skiing, taking my slopestyle and big air tricks to a back country setting.”
After claiming two medals, silver and bronze, at the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games, Bilous went on to claim his first World Cup podium in Freeski Big Air in 2018. He has represented New Zealand proudly at both the PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, and was named as one of the New Zealand Team flag bearers (alongside Alice Robinson) in Beijing, leading the NZ Team into the Opening Ceremony in February this year.
Bilous further explained, “The first time I had to choose between disciplines was the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games which clashed with the Junior World Freeride Championships, so it is exciting to be able to prioritise freeride for the coming season.”
Although Bilous has been focused on Slopestyle and Big Air, he has continued to compete in Freeride events when he has been able to. The Freeride World Tour released the wildcard announcement overnight NZT, saying; “Finn is comfortable in the big mountains, consistently performing well in Qualifier events in his home country in recent years, including a fourth place at the Qualifier 2020 The North Face Frontier 4* presented by the Winter Games NZ. Further afield, Finn earned a second place at Qualifier 2021 Engadinsnow by Dakine 4* #1, as well as finishing in a respectable sixth place among a star-studded field at Fieberbrunn FWT22 Finals, where he competed as an event wildcard.”
Snow Sports NZ CEO Nic Cavanagh said, “Finn is a phenomenal athlete and an invaluable asset to the snow sports community here in New Zealand. His love for the mountains has been evident in his dedication to his sport and the success he has had across multiple disciplines thus far in his career. Myself and the rest of the Snow Sports NZ team wishes Finn all the best for the upcoming season and we look forward to watching him take on the Freeride World Tour.”
Bilous will join Kiwi’s Jess Hotter, Craig Murray, Manu Barnard and Jamesa Hampton on the Freeride World Tour for the coming Northern Hemisphere winter. The first stop of the 2023 Freeride World Tour will be held in Kicking Horse, Canada from January 13th 2023.
14 months ago