Zimmermann wins Nine Queens

Skiing history was written today in Serfaus, Austria, at the Nine Queens women's big air contest, where 17-year-old Lisa Zimmermann of Germany claimed first place with the first-ever double cork 1260 in women's competition. It was a fitting conclusion to the Nine Queens event, a weeklong women's photo and video shoot centered around a multi-use snow castle feature.

"Today couldn't have gone any better," said Zimmermann, who landed her trick clean, complete with a safety grab throughout most of the rotation. "I'm really happy that I was able to land it on my first attempt."

This week, Zimmermann and several of the other Nine Queens competitors will compete in Women's Ski Slopestyle at X Games Tignes, taking place Wednesday through Friday in Tignes, France. Will Zimmermann display her double cork in Tignes? "I think so," she said with a smile.

"It was a fantastic ending to a fantastic week," said Nine Queens organizer and German freeskiing icon Nico Zacek. "Every year it feels like the recipe that we have -- giving the girls an option -- works a bit better, and again they've progressed. Can you imagine a big air comp where in the first run, a girl throws a perfect cork 900 truck driver, and in the second run a perfect dub 12?"

Ethan Stone

Lisa Zimmermann of Germany won Nine Queens with the first double cork thrown in women's competition.

Several other competitors put down tricks never before seen in women's competition, including a rodeo 900 from second-place finisher Zuzicka Stromkova of Slovakia. Switzerland's Camillia Berra secured third place with a double front flip and a rodeo 720, and shortly after the final round was over, sixth-place finisher Katie Summerhayes of Great Britain landed a switch 1260, another women's first.

"I'm pretty sure we just saw the golden age of women's freeskiing starting," said event participant Jamie Crane-Mauzy from the U.S. "We've reached a new level, and we're not going back."

Ethan Stone

The podium: Camillia Berra, Lisa Zimmermann, and Zuzana Stromkova.

Already known as an iconic freeskiing event, this year Nine Queens raised the bar once again by ushering in a new generation of female freeskiing talent. Although established pros like Grete Eliassen, Keri Herman and Virginie Faivre were in attendance, the real stars of the show were hungry up-and-comers like Zimmermann, Crane-Mauzy, and French skier Coline Ballet-Baz, who was voted the week's best overall rider by her peers.

Throughout the week, the women had several days to session the 60-foot kicker and other elements of the innovative castle feature, as a team of invited photographers and filmers captured the action from every angle.

"This event makes it possible for us to push the sport," said Summerhayes.

"We never get to ski together like this," said Crane-Mauzy. "It pushes us to take it to the next level."

"It's the best training week we could have," said Zimmermann. "It's just great that this exists."

2013 Nine Queens Results

Place Name Country
1 Lisa Zimmermann Germany
2 Zuzicka Stromkova Slovakia
3 Camillia Berra Switzerland
4 Maude Raymond Canada
5 Silvia Bertagna Italy
6 Katie Summerhayes Great Britain
7 Dania Assaly Canada
8 Philo Bair Austria

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