Tag Archives: freestyle skiing

This past year has been monumental for Mikaël Kingsbury. Some of his most outstanding accomplishments included a gold and silver medal at the World Championships, two Crystal Globes and seven straight World Cup wins.

In the most impressive season of his young career, Kingsbury has been presented with the Male Athlete of the Year Award by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. This award goes out to the best Canadian male freestyle skier of the 2014-2015 season.

“It’s a big honour for me,” said Kingsbury. “We have the best freestyle skiing team in the world. I look up to many of those athletes on our team too. It’s a great feeling. It motivates me to do more.”

After a disappointing start to the World Cup circuit with a ninth place finish in Ruka, Finland, Kingsbury bounced back with an amazing run of seven consecutive World Cup victories.

“I told myself to stop focusing on the result and to start focusing on myself,” Kingsbury explained. “I have the ability to win all the time. From there I just tried to ski the best I possibly can and managed to win seven World Cups in a row. I felt at some point the confidence and I knew I could do it. It was pretty special.”

The 22 year-old out of Deux-Montagnes, Quebec began his win streak on home soil at a World Cup event in Calgary, Alberta. From there, he was untouchable to his competition, leading to both the Crystal Globe award for men’s moguls and the overall Crystal Globe for all men’s freestyle skiing.

“It took off a lot of pressure winning in Calgary. I like the course there. I went into Deer Valley on a high and ended up winning there to reclaim the yellow bib. I never wanted to let it go after that. It was an awesome feeling to be back on top and to aim for the Crystal Globe. To me it’s like the Stanley Cup. Winning the Crystal Globe was a big goal of mine.”

On top of all these accomplishments, Kingsbury also won the World Title in dual moguls and earned silver in the mogul competition at the World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria. His seven straight World Cup victories broke the record originally set by American Jeremy Bloom set in 2005. Kingsbury had tied the streak once before during the 2011-2012 season

“Jeremy Bloom was an amazing athlete. He was one of my idols when I was growing up,” said Kingsbury. “I used to watch him at a young age and actually remember when he got the record. I always thought it was one of the hardest records to achieve. The thought of him winning six in a row is crazy. To be able to tie it a couple years ago and now break it was an honour.”

The seventh consecutive win also marked Kingsbury’s 28th career World Cup victory, which tied the record held by French skier, Edgar Grospiron. While tying this record was a huge accomplishment, Kingsbury is determined to be the sole record holder by next season.

“For this summer I’m motivated by the all-time wins record. I know I just need one more World Cup victory. Edgar Grospiron was also an idol of mine. That’s a record I never thought I’d be at.”

In the long term, Kingsbury has his sights set on Olympic gold. While this is a major goal of his, he will take things one step at a time, continuing to work on his individual skills. Despite being the best mogul skier of the World circuit right now, he is not satisfied yet and will push himself even harder over the next few years.

“I’m just going to take things one year at a time, but I would like to improve on what I did in Sochi. I’m going to train hard and be ready. I’m still young and I still have a lot more to do in my career.”

Moguls2Presented to the most outstanding Canadian female freestyle skier at the national level, Olympic and World champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe has received the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association Female Athlete of the Year award.

“I’m really excited that the CFSA created these awards and I think it’s a great way for us to push our goals,” said Dufour-Lapointe. “Being the recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year Award is a privilege and feels very special. I’m grateful for this recognition. I think we will all strive higher to win this title in the future.”

The 21 year-old Montreal native holds an extensive list of accomplishments which led her to be chosen for this award. The most significant among her victories this season was her World Championship gold medal in Kreischberg, Austria.

Less than one year after her gold medal performance in the Sochi Olympic Games, Dufour-Lapointe added a moguls World Championship title to her rapidly growing list of achievements. With a score of 87.25 points, she was able to beat out her American rival Hannah Kearney who recorded 85.66.

“Being able to win the World Championships after winning a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games was great. I realize how special it is now,” said Dufour-Lapointe as she reflected on the past season. “After an Olympic year, this season was all about the World Championships. I really pushed myself there. I was really proud of myself. It was my ultimate goal for this season.”

While the World Championship gold medal was the biggest victory of Dufour-Lapointe’s season, she had several other podium finishes to accompany it. She collected first place World Cup finishes in the Deer Valley dual moguls competition and in the moguls contest in Lake Placid. On both occasions, she came in ahead of second place American, Kearney.

Dufour-Lapointe also received a silver medal in dual moguls at the World Championships, a second place finish in the moguls competition in Deer Valley and two third place finishes in World Cup events. As a result, Dufour-Lapointe finished second overall in the Crystal Globe standings for mogul skiers.

After coming out on top in both the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2015 World Championships, the youngest of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters has demonstrated an impressive ability to perform at her best when the stakes are the highest.

“I’ve always been a really competitive girl. I love the feeling of competing. I’ve been that way since I was a kid,” Dufour-Lapointe explained. “I had trouble back then training because I just wanted to race. As I grew up, I got used to it and started to realize that the preparation was important to be ready.”

Dufour-Lapointe’s focus going forward into next season and the following years is on preparation and training for the next Olympic Games in South Korea, as well as building a relationship with her new coaches.

“Right now it’s all about the four year Olympic cycle that we started this year. I want to get closer to my coaches, try new tricks, and push myself more. I just want to be a better skier,” said Dufour-Lapointe. “The Crystal Globe is my next goal. It’s not about being great on one day, but being consistent throughout the season. It’s a different mindset.”

Through all of her recent success, Dufour-Lapointe continues to push herself, always seeking improvement and trying to become a better skier. She remains focused on her personal goals, regardless of what it takes to accomplish them.

“You have to think about your goals every day. It’s not always about winning, sometimes it’s about the process to get you there.”

heil-jenn-620-951x442One of the greatest Canadian freestyle skiers of all time, Jennifer Heil, was honoured with an induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on April 22, 2015. The 32 year-old Spruce Grove, Alberta native has been an inspiration to young Canadian athletes. In her 10 years on the moguls World Cup circuit, Heil collected an impressive 58 podium finishes, including 25 wins. In light of her most recent accomplishment, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association revisits some of the highlights of Heil’s outstanding skiing career:

1) Olympic Gold in Torino
Heil’s greatest accomplishment in freestyle skiing was her gold medal victory in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. After narrowly missing the podium as an 18-year-old rookie in the 2002 Olympics, Heil blew away the competition in 2006. After finishing first in the qualifying run, Heil posted a score of 26.50 in the final run, 0.85 better than defending Olympic gold medallist, Kari Traa to take the gold medal. Not only was this Heil’s first ever Olympic medal, it was also the first ever Olympic medal for Canada in women’s moguls and the first medal for Canada in the 2006 Olympic Games.

2) Olympic Silver in Vancouver
Another huge achievement was winning an Olympic silver medal on home soil at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. As the defending Olympic gold medallist with the unwavering support of the home crowd, Jennifer Heil came out with an exceptional final run and finished second overall to give Canada its first medal of the 2010 Olympic Games and its first Olympic medal at home in over 20 years.

3) 3 Dual Moguls World Championships Gold Medals
Throughout her career, Jennifer Heil has found the most success in the dual moguls competition on the World Cup circuit. She won the dual moguls World Championships gold medal on three separate occasions in her career. In 2005, Heil defeated Kari Traa in the dual moguls final to claim her first ever World Championship gold medal in Ruka, Finland. Her second dual moguls victory came at the 2007 World Championship in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy. Her third victory in World Championships dual moguls came in 2011, her final year on the world circuit, as she defeated Canadian teammate Chloe Dufour-Lapointe to capture the gold.

4) 2011 Moguls World Championships Gold Medal
In the final World Championship event of her freestyle skiing career, Jennifer Heil won her first ever single moguls world title to sweep the women’s moguls World Championship with gold medals in both moguls events. In the single moguls event, Heil defeated long-time American rival Hannah Kearney to take the 2011 title in Deer Valley, USA.

5) 2011 Athlete of the Year
In 2011, Heil was named the Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year. The trophy, officially named the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award, was given to Heil in a year that saw her win two World Championship gold medals.

6) 2007 Overall Crystal Globe Winner
In 2007, Heil had arguably the best season of her career, as she won medals in eight of the nine World Cup events that she competed in. With this success, she earned the Overall Crystal Globe Award, meaning she was not only the women’s moguls World Cup champion, but the overall World Cup champion of freestyle skiing.

7) 2001 International Ski Federation Rookie of the Year
In 2001, her first year on the World Cup circuit, Heil was named the International Ski Federation’s Rookie of the Year. This award was received after she placed fourth overall in women’s moguls World Cup standings, finishing on the podium twice and recording five finishes in the top 10.

In addition to her outstanding athletic career, Jennifer Heil has also made significant contributions to a number of different charitable organizations, most notably co-founding the B2Ten organization. This group helps to raise money for amateur Canadian athletes, in order to assist them in pursuing their dreams of becoming Olympic athletes. Not only has Jennifer inspired young athletes to achieve greatness, but she is also helping to make their dreams a reality with the B2Ten organization.

Snow Sports Canada and the CFSA is proud to recognize all of her accomplishments, especially her well-deserved induction into Canada Sports Hall of Fame. The hard work and dedication that Jennifer continues to put into Canadian sport has inspired a generation of athletes to dream a little bigger and be the best version of themselves inside and outside of their sport.

Erik Guay, of Mont-Tremblant, Que. is the most decorated Canadian alpine World Cup skier ever. With 21 World Cup podiums, Guay is also the 2011 world downhill champion and 2010 super-G Crystal Globe winner, making him one of the top Canadian alpine skiers in history. At the 2010 Olympics, Guay was just 0.03 seconds away from a podium in the super-G, finishing fifth. He is hoping to claim his first Olympic medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Outside skiing, Guay is a proud husband and father, a motor racing enthusiast and a keen hockey player and Canadiens fan.

For Erik’s full bio visit http://www.alpinecanada.org/athlete/guay

GO WHERE THE PROS GO

Canada’s national team athletes and experts tell you where they love to ski

This issue: Former Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge on Sunshine Village

Peter Judge

As a member of Canada’s Ski Hall of Fame and a pioneer of freestyle skiing, Peter Judge has visited and skied on a lot of mountains, including World Cup venues internationally. In his 40-year career he has enjoyed success as a medal-winning athlete, head coach of the Canadian Freestyle team, coach in the USA, Australia and China and former CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. Judge is credited with pushing freestyle disciplines from the fringes to the Olympic level, and for the competitive success of Canada’s freestyle skiers. He has guided Canadian freestyle skiers to a total of 10 Olympic, 69 World Championship and more than 1,000 World Cup medals.

“I lived in Whistler 18 years, which is a great area to be from if you’re into skiing. There are many places globally with totally different feels, from North America to South America, Europe to Asia. In France, I love Tignes and Val d’Isère – there’s lots of terrain, good fun and good food. And there’s very challenging, significant skiing in Sochi, where we’ll of course be for the Olympic Games in February 2014,” says Judge.

But you never forget your firsts, and since Judge grew up in Calgary, he learned to ski in the Rocky Mountains. So when asked which mountain is his favourite and why, he quickly responds, “Sunshine Village will always be dear to my heart, because growing up in the Rockies as I did, it’s there that I found my love of skiing.”

In Judge’s opinion, there are a number of unique, great things about Sunshine Village. When asked why he’d recommend it to others, he says “First and foremost, go for the snow – both the quantity and the quality of it. There’s so much great snow there both early and late in the ski season – many years it’s possible to ski well into June! I think that the variability of terrain is also a significant draw. I first skied Delirium Dive when I was 13 and was inevitably hooked! Whether you are just starting out, skiing as a family, or looking for some serious steep and deep, Sunshine has it all.”

Quick Facts about Sunshine Village:
  • Located about 90 minutes from Calgary and just 15 minutes from Banff, on the Continental Divide. You can ski in both BC and Alberta in the same day… in fact in the same run!
  • 3 separate mountain faces to ski
  • 3,300 acres of skiable terrain – 20% beginner, 55% intermediate and 25% expert run
  • Everything from family-friendly beginner runs to the most extreme big mountain runs. Delirium Dive has been named one of the 10 top off-piste destinations in the world
  • 12 chairlifts and a high-speed gondola
  • Village altitude of 7,082 feet, resulting in big snowfalls and good dry snow conditions all year
  • And particularly fitting, given Judge’s role in getting events like slopestyle skiing and snowboarding accepted as new Olympic events for the Sochi Olympics in 2014, a massive 12-acre terrain park with 50 obstacles, and a newly opened beginner park for those who want to learn how to do the jumps and tricks