Canadian Mogul Team Set to Open Season in Ruka

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Photo: Evan Spinosa
Mikaël Kingsbury has another opportunity for career victory number 29

Ruka, Finland – The Canadian Freestyle Mogul Team opens the 2015-16 season on December 12, 2015, with a FIS World Cup dual moguls event scheduled in Ruka, Finland.

Last year the Canadian team found success in difficult snow conditions with Philippe Marquis grabbing first place on the men’s side and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe finishing second for the women.

The team has been in Finland for the last two weeks training and is ready to start the season strong.

“With the season starting soon, I’ve been raising my intensity level in training to match how I would compete the day of an event,” said Marquis. “I feel prepared. I’m in a good mental state of mind and feel great physically. I’m hoping to improve on my performances from last season. I want to build momentum from my success and become more consistent.”

Eyes will be on defending Crystal Globe champion Mikaël Kingsbury as he looks to break the all-time FIS World Cup wins record for mogul skiers. Currently, the native of Deux-Montagnes, QC, is tied at 28 victories with legendary French skier Edgar Grospiron.

It was a strong finish to the season for the men’s team last year. Behind Kingsbury in the FIS World Cup standings was Marquis, who finished a career-high third overall. Teammates Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh and Marc-Antoine Gagnon finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

“I feel like I’ve had one of my best off-seasons so far in my career,” said Kingsbury “I was able to fine-tune my tricks on the water ramps. The entire team is looking strong and I believe we have the capability to be on the podium every single World Cup. We’re all pushing each other to be better. I’m excited to also potentially break Edgar Grospiron’s record. It’s a big honour to surpass a legend like him. I hope I can do it early in the season so that I can focus on new goals throughout the year.”

The Canadian team is also coming off a season where five women placed in the top-six overall in the FIS World Cup standings. Justine Dufour-Lapointe, who finished in second place for the fourth consecutive season to the now retired American, Hannah Kearney, led the team. Sister Chloé came in third and was followed in order by Audrey Robichaud, Andi Naude, and finally Maxime Dufour-Lapointe.

“There will be new challenges for us this year and a new Crystal Globe winner without Hannah Kearney being on tour anymore,” said Justine Dufour-Lapointe. “So now we have to challenge and push each other to be the best that we can be. I want to put myself in a position each competition to be on the podium and to hopefully win my first Crystal Globe too. We had a great off-season and we feel stronger than we ever have before.”

Qualification for the Ruka World Cup starts at 12 p.m. local time or 5 a.m. EST / 2 a.m. PST on Saturday. The finals are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. local time or 11 a.m. EST / 8 a.m. PST. A full schedule is available here.