Photo Credit: André Chevrier
(ISN) – Tazawako, Japan – For the fourth year in a row, Japan will host a mogul and dual moguls event on consecutive days.
In the last two years, the event was held in Inawashiro. However, this year the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup stops in a new location, Tazawako, on February 28 and March 1.
History will be on the line for a couple of Canadians this weekend. Mikaël Kingsbury is riding a five World Cup win streak and has had good success in the past in Japan. In 2014, the native of Deux-Montagnes, QC finished third in the mogul event and came away with the dual moguls title.
“I’ve had a pretty good season so far and am hoping to keep the momentum going this week and beyond,” said Kingsbury, who’s two wins away from tying the all-time FIS World Cup record set by France’s Edgar Grospiron. “I’ve always enjoyed skiing in Japan and I’m looking forward to setting the bar high for myself. Our team is looking ready and prepared to compete.”
This weekend will also mark a milestone event for Audrey Robichaud who will become the first Canadian woman in mogul history with 100 World Cup starts.
“I guess it’s quite the achievement to still be doing it and be in one piece,” said a humble Robichaud. “It’s pretty neat to do it in Japan, a place I’ve always loved. My first World Cup overseas was in Inawashiro and I made my first World Cup final there. Japan has always held a special place in my heart. Not only are the Japanese the nicest people, but the culture is the best. They always make us feel welcome in their country.”
Robichaud was also part of a group last week that had the opportunity to visit Pyeongchang, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, for a familiarization trip that left quite an impression on the athletes.
“The trip in Korea was a great team experience,” said Philippe Marquis. “The Olympic Games may seem way down the road, but three years actually flies by really fast. Trips like this really help the athletes prepare. Being able to visit the site of the next Winter Olympic Games was really motivating. I think it gives you that spark to train even harder everyday to reach that Olympic goal.”
The following Canadian mogul skiers are scheduled to compete in Japan:
Men – Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC), Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC), Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh (Quebec City, QC), Kerrian Chunlaud (Ste-Foy, QC), Luke Ulsifer (Calgary, AB)
Women – Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Andi Naude (Penticton, BC), Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC), Christel Hamel (Montreal, QC), Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC)