As is customary, the national mogul team starts its World Cup season in Ruka, Finland, with a single moguls event on December 7. After a busy summer schedule of snow camps and gym training, the skiers are ready to measure themselves against their compatriots. In all, the season’s calendar comprises 11 World Cup events, two of those on Canadian soil in January 2019.
In spite of having pocketed an Olympic gold medal, 14 Crystal Globes and 49 World Cup victories, Mikaël Kingsbury kept going full tilt over the summer. He doubled down on his fitness regime to get a strong start to the season, just as he’s done in previous years. The only change to the landscape is that coach Michel Hamelin will be at the starting gate with the Deux-Montagnes native this time around.
For sisters Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, the upcoming contest will be the first without older sister Maxime, who retired last summer. Though they will miss their sibling, both women are feeling highly motivated as they look ahead to this new Olympic cycle. Indeed, they put in overtime on the trampoline this past summer in order to perfect a new jump.
Veteran Philippe Marquis will not be joining the team in Finland. The Quebec City athlete is instead devoting the next few weeks to training out West to put his knee to the test after undergoing surgery following the last Olympics. He does plan to compete at the Calgary Wold Cup in January and hopefully at the World Championships in Deer Valley.
The Canadian team heading to Ruka is not the same as it was mere months ago, given the retirements of Audrey Robichaud, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, Alex-Anne Gagnon, Marc-Antoine Gagnon and Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh. Nor will Penticton native Andi Naude be there, as she’s focussing on school for the 2018-2019 season.
Men: Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC), Laurent Dumais (Quebec City, QC), Simon Lemieux (Repentigny, QC), Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, QC), Kerrian Chunlaud (Sainte-Foy, QC), Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC)