Bluebird powder day for Freeride World Tour Event in Kicking Horse, Golden BC

February 18th, 2023
Max Hitzig sending today in Kicking Horse. Photo: Bernard/ FWT

Mountainwatch | Press Release

Huge performances make for an unforgettable day at the Kicking Horse Golden BC Pro 

Kicking Horse, BC, February 18: The world’s premier freeride lineup took advantage of a fresh dusting of snow in Kicking Horse today, delivering memorable performances in front of a deafening local crowd. Competition went down on the Ozone Face, which provided the perfect theater for the 2023 world title race to continue.


Australia’s Michaela Davis-Meehan, stoked with her win today in Kicking Horse. It is the second win of her career. Photo: Bernard/FWT

Snowboard women 

Michaela Davis-Meehan (AUS) put down a huge run under pressure to take the win, but, unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough to make the cut. Michaela dropped first and sent two massive airs in the steep, exposed section of the course, boosting out with speed into some fast, powder turns. Estelle Rizzolio (FRA) and Anna Orlova (RUS) finished second and third, respectively, both throwing down solid runs.

“It was amazing. The snow was so good. I had a backup run that I was going to do, but I blew that one off – I wanted the rockstar run, and I am glad I did it._ – Michaela Davis-Meehan

Snowboard men 

Mexican rookie sensation Liam Rivera (MEX) was the first to drop, setting the bar too high for the rest of the field to reach. Liam pointed it straight for the cold, deep pow, linking 360s in both directions to take the win. Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) cemented his overall rankings lead with a second place finish, followed by Jonathan Penfield (USA) in third.

“I don’t think I quite believe it yet. I came here just wanting to make the cut, and now I have taken the win. I’m very happy!” – Liam Rivera  

Ski men 

Max Hitzig (GER) threw potentially the biggest backflip in FWT history, sending it so deep it can only be seen to be believed. His entire run was fluid and fast, linking a couple of airs at the top into the historic backflip to finish first. Local rookie Marcus Goguen(CAN) shot up the rankings and secured his place in the FWT Finals with an exhilarating run to earn second place, with Valentin Rainer (AUT) backing up his win in Andorra with a third.

“I wasn’t sure if the backflip was going to work. I saw Yu Sasaki send the pyramid cliff three years ago, which is why I went for it today. I’m so stoked!” – Max Hitzig

Ski women 

Megane Betend (FRA) delivered a career-defining performance to take first place, ensuring she made the cut for a chance at the world title. Megane didn’t take her foot off the pedal with a fast and powerful display of freeriding, which included an insane triple drop into the finish line. Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI) finished in second place with a fluid run, and Addison Rafford (USA) rounded off the podium to take the overall rankings lead.

“I knew I would have to finish first or second to qualify for the finals, so I said to myself, ‘go big or go home!’ I am stoked that it worked.” -Megane Betend 

Relive all the action, watch the replay!

Relive all of today’s action at and be sure to follow the FWT social media channels for all the latest news as it drops. The FWT Finals are next folks, with all the riders who made the cut heading back to Europe and the famed and intimidating slopes of Fieberbrunn and Verbier. Stay tuned, stop four of FWT23 is not far away.