We expected it. The last moguls event before the Olympic Games was bound to be an exhilarating show, and that’s what fans got! All the more so since the venue was on home snow in Tremblant and before family, friends, and big crowds at the base of the Flying Mile run and around the giant screens on Place Saint-Bernard, where the competition was being broadcasted live.
The Canadian athletes soaked up the good vibes from an enthusiastic crowd – so much so that ten of them – six women and four men – qualified for the 16-skier finals. The air was almost crackling with energy! Justine Dufour-Lapointe emerged the big winner as she skied to her first season victory. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud to win a World Cup. The start of the season was a little rockier, but I’m really happy to finally get to this point,” said the skier. “Today the crowd gave me that energy boost I needed, and I appreciated it all day long.”
Her teammate Andi Naude was right behind her, taking second place. “I’m thrilled to be on the podium today right before the Games. I think this was one of the most enjoyable competition days I’ve ever had. I was able to do my back full on the top air and that jump was fun because we had to approach it as fast as possible and go as big as possible. I liked pushing my limits,” said the Penticton, BC-born skier, who now has three season podiums. “Going into the Games with a second-place finish and sharing the podium with my teammate is more than I could have hoped for. I’m really excited to go to PyeongChang with this result in my pocket.”
Mikaël Kingsbury’s win streak ends at 13
Everyone was hoping for a 14th consecutive victory for the “King of Moguls” on home turf in Tremblant. This time, however, it was Japanese competitor Ikuma Horishima who edged him out by 0.61. “We had a great day, I skied my best but Ikuma did a run that I couldn’t beat. I made a tiny error before the bottom jump, and the jump wasn’t my best, and he is completely deserving of his win,” said Kingsbury, who wasn’t disappointed with his day. “I was consistent today, again, I have nothing to feel bad about. My performance was fantastic and I feel like I’m in a good position going into the Olympics.”
Kingsbury was pleased that Tremblant was hosting the last World Cup before the big departure overseas. “It was really nice today skiing before family and friends. It’s been a long time since we had competitions here in Mont Tremblant. I remember the first World Cups I saw when I was young. To have the chance to compete here 13 years later is really incredible.”
Also worth noting is the fact that Ste-Adèle, QC native Valérie Gilbert had her first career World Cup final today. She finished 10th in the rankings.
The World Cup was back in Tremblant after a hiatus of over 10 years, and will be held here for the next five years. A number of activities were organized on the site to mark this return, including an evening with alumnae, to which the public was invited, the medals ceremony on Place Saint-Bernard, and an autograph session with the moguls athletes. Saturday ended with the World Cup party at the P’tit Caribou at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: Open Moguls day
The public is invited to meet the athletes on the Canadian team at the Open Moguls day, to be held under the Flying Mile lift (base of Versant Sud) on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It will be an opportunity to learn the basics of moguls skiing and collect some autographs and photos. And it’s free!
Next stop: PyeongChang
This was the last competition before the qualified moguls athletes leave for the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. The team will be presented officially by the Canadian Olympic Committee on Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Antoine-de-Saint-Exupéry school in Montreal. The team will then travel to British Columbia for a training camp before embarking on the flight to Asia.
Moguls ski schedule at the Olympic Games
February 9, 2018 – qualifications: 10:00 to 12:00 a.m., PYE time
February 11, 2018 – ladies’ finals: 9:00 to 10:30 p.m., PYE time
February 12, 2018 – mens’ finals: 9:00 to 10:30 p.m., PYE time
Canadian athletes results:
Men: Mikaël Kingsbury, Deux-Montagnes, Qc (2), Marc-Antoine Gagnon, Terrebonne, Qc (6), Laurent Dumais, Quebec City, Qc (15), Simon Lemieux, Repentigny, Qc (16), Luke Ulsifer, Calgary, AB (19), Ryan Portello, Cochrane, AB (33), Kerrian Chunlaud, Sainte-Foy, Qc (38), Gabriel Dufresne, Repentigny, Qc (40), Elliot Vaillancourt, Drummondville, Qc (41),
Ladies: Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Montréal, Qc (1), Andi Naude, Penticton, BC. (2), Audrey Robichaud, Quebec City, Qc (5), Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, Montréal, Qc (6), Alex-Anne Gagnon, Terrebonne, Qc (9), Valérie Gilbert, Ste-Adèle, Qc (10), Berkley Brown, Aurora, ON (17), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, Montréal, Qc (27), Sofiane Gagnon, Whistler, BC (48)