Tag Archives: moguls

image2Over the past 10 years, numerous Canadian snow sport athletes have cemented themselves in sporting history. In celebration of the 148th birthday of Canada, we took a look back at historical moments and performances that have asserted Canada’s international dominance in snow sports and have helped define our nation.

1. Family first – Alexandre Bilodeau (Freestyle Skiing) –2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: After Canada failed to win a gold medal when it hosted the Olympics in Montreal 1976 and Calgary 1988, the country was eager to see who would end that drought in Vancouver. On the second day of competition, Alexandre Bilodeau provided the breakthrough and secured Canada’s first Olympic medal on home soil. But it wasn’t just about the gold medal, as Bilodeau celebrated by embracing his brother Frederic, who is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. The 2010 Olympic Champion went on to defend his gold medal in men’s moguls at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, finishing just ahead of teammate Mikael Kingsbury who won the silver. Once again, Bilodeau reacted the same way as he did 4 years prior, by dedicating his medal to Fredric, calling him his hero and biggest inspiration

2. The golden sister act – Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (Freestyle Skiing) –2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: The only thing that could possibly be better than winning a gold medal is winning a gold medal and standing on the podium with a sibling who has shared the same journey as you. No one will forget the unbelievable and intense day of competition for ladies’ moguls, when the Dufour-Lapointe sisters took their sports on the podium holding hands. History was made when Justine took hom the gold and Chloe secured the silver medal in women’s moguls at Sochi 2014.

3. Uncorking the potential of snowboarding – Mark McMorris (Snowboarding) – 2012 X-Games in Aspen Colorado: At the young age of 18, Mark McMorris shocked the snow sport world by throwing down the first-ever backside triple cork 1440 in X-Games competition history. Not only did Mark change the gold-standard for Big Air competition as we know it today, but his larger-than-life performances at the 2012 X-Games led to a double gold in big air and men’s slopestyle…need we say more.

4. Sarah Burke lives on forever – Debut of women’s Super-Pipe skiing at the Olympics (Freestyle Skiing) – 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: As one of the world’s top freestyle skiers, Sarah Burke was a four-time Winter X-Games gold medalist in superpipe. Sarah led the efforts to get the women’s X-Games sport into the Olympics but died in a January 2012 training accident before she could see her dream realized. However, Sarah’s legacy lived on as she had successfully lobbied the International Olympic Committee to add women’s superpipe to the Olympic program for the 2014 Winter Olympics. During the 2014 Winter Olympics, Trennon Payner, the Canadian freestyle ski coach, payed tribute to Sarah by speading some of her ashes on the halfpipe course prior to the inaugural women’s superpipe event. In essence, the efforts of Sarah Burke were influential to the Olympic movement and the 2014 Sochi Olympics solidified Sarah’s legacy living on forever.

5. A golden dream – Maelle Ricker (Snowboarding) – 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: Maelle Ricker etched her way into the history books and inspired women all across the nation by becoming the first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Maelle won her gold medal in ladies snowboard cross and as a North Vancouver native had the opportunity to make history just minutes away from her childhood home – a true dream come true.

6. Igniting the mogul movement – Jennifer Heil (Freestyle Skiing) – 2006 Torino Winter Olympics: 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.

7. The king is crowned – Mikael Kingsbury (Freestyle Skiing) – 2014/2015 Season: Mikael Kingsbury had a historic 2014/2015 season by winning his fourth consecutive crystal globe as the overall season points leader. Along the way, the King also tied the record for world cup wins with his 28th, and broke his own record for consecutive world cup wins in a season with 7. Oh and in case you forgot, Mikael also won a silver medal at Sochi, placing just behind teammate Alexandre Bilodeau – but at the young age of 22, Kingsbury is just getting started.

8. Can you do the 1-2 step? – Marielle Thompson & Kelsey Serwa – 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: If it hasn’t been made clear up until this point, Canada is pretty good at freestyle skiing. In addition to the Alexandre Bilodeau/Mikael Kingsbury and Dufour-Lapointe sisters 1st and 2nd place finishes in men’s and women’s moguls, Canada showed that their freestyle skiing game was not restricted to moguls alone.  The ladies ski cross duo of Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa completed the 3rd 1-2 finish for Canadian freestyle skiing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, with Thompson winning gold and Serwa capturing silver. These ski cross medals contributed to a late surge in the Canadian medal count and solidified Canada’s dominance of the freestyle events at the Sochi Olympics (which resulted in four golds, four silvers and a bronze, while generating three 1-2 finishes).

9. Age is just a number – Dara Howell (Freestyle Skiing) –2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Dara Howell proved that age is just a number by taking home the gold medal in the inaugural women’s slopestyle event. In a dazzling display of substance and style, the Huntsville, Ontario native showed that her future is very promising and despite being only 19 years old, she can put on a world class performance.

10. Jumping into the history books – Taylor Henrich (Ski Jumping) – 2014/2015 Season: At only 18 years of age, Taylor Henrich already has a spot in women’s Olympic ski jumping history by taking the first run of the inaugural ski jumping event at the 2014 Sochi games, becoming one of the first women to compete in the sport at that level. Taylor Henrich continued to lead the charge for Canadian ski jumping by becoming the first Canadian woman to capture a World Cup ski jumping medal when she placed third earlier on the World Cup circuit on January 23, 2015. Additionally, Taylor`s fifth place finish was the highest ever for a female Canadian ski jumper at the World Championships.

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.

Riddle & Sharpe

Double Halfpipe Gold in France

Cassie Sharpe and Mike Riddle both won gold in the final FIS world cup halfpipe event of the season in Tignes, France late last week. For Sharpe, it was her first world cup victory, and came against a field stacked with X Games and Olympic medalists. The gold medal for Riddle was the first time he has stood on the FIS podium since winning the silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Gagnon Just Off the Podium

Finishing 14th after the first run, Marie-Michele Gagnon put down the third-fastest second run of the day to move up to a 5th place final result. Just 15 hundredths of a second off the podium, it was another strong result for the Alpine Canada athlete who has five top-10 finishes on the season.

Henrich Finishes Breakout Season on a High Note

Taylor Henrich has had a historic season for Ski Jumping Canada, landing the first Canadian women’s ski jumping world cup podium earlier this year, followed by an impressive fifth place result at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden. At the final world cup event of the year, Henrich capped off a record-setting season for Ski Jumping Canada by securing her second bronze medal of the season, finishing third in Norway.

Maltais & Hill Dominate in Veysonnaz

Two-time Olympian Dominique Maltais and 2015 World Championships silver-medallist Kevin Hill were dominant at the two snowboard cross races in Veysonnaz, Switzerland over the weekend. Maltais finished 4th and 1st, respectively, in the two races, while Hill took home two medals, winning bronze in both races on Saturday and Sunday.

Moguls Women Lead the Charge in Final Event of the Season

In the last event of what has been a truly remarkable and historic season for Canada’s moguls’ team, the women put on a dominating performance in Megeve, France, finishing with five athletes in the top six. Only the gold medal was to be missed by the female Canadian contingent this day.

Canada led the way with end-of-season awards, with Mikael Kingsbury taking his fourth consecutive crystal globe as the overall points leader, Philippe Marquis finishing third overall, and Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe taking second and third overall, respectively, to conclude the season. Canada was also named the Nations Cup winner, as the leading moguls’ nation on the season.

Leman Pulls Off Slick Move to Steal Silver

In only his second podium of the season, Brady Leman pulled off a gutsy move two thirds of the way down the race course in Megeve, France to move from fourth to second in the final world cup race of the season. A strong podium finish to the season for an athlete that had five top-ten performances on the world cup circuit.

 

Kingsbury Kreischberg Podium Picture

If we were to sum up the month of January for our athletes in one word, it would be – wow. Our athletes proved once again that on snow, they are the best in the world. From gold medals at the X Games, to podium sweeps in Austria and making history in Germany, our team has been dominant so far this season – which makes choosing one athlete among them all as our Athlete of the Month a difficult task.

There was however one athlete who had a truly historic start to the season, and a dominant January. Your Snow Sports Canada athlete of the month for January is Mikaël Kingsbury.

Kingsbury has had an amazing month of competition in January, winning five gold medals and one silver through six competitions. Kingsbury is on top of the leaderboard with 429 points, 204 points up on fellow Canadian Philippe Marquis who sits second with 225 points. At just 22 years of age, Kingsbury is a bonafide star on the moguls world cup circuit, and will be one to watch for years to come. Congratulations on a stellar month of competition Mikaël!

Honourable Mention

  1. Marielle Thompson
  2. Justine Dufour-Lapointe

Historic Performances

  • Taylor Henrich became the first Canadian woman to stand on the ski jumping world cup podium after she finished third in a world cup event in Germany. Taylor also had another first for Canada, as she placed first in the qualification round prior to the final event. Congratulations on an historic achievement Taylor!
  • Simon d’Artois became the first Canadian to win a superpipe gold medal when he won the X Games event in Aspen. Check out Simon’s jaw-dropping winning run:

 

 

Congratulations to all of our athletes on a strong January, and let’s keep the momentum rolling into February! #weownsnow

Moguls Sweep 2

Canada has a history of producing strong moguls’ athletes. From Alexandre Bilodeau’s performance in Vancouver to bring Canada its first ever Olympic gold medal on home soil, to the emergence of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters and Mikael Kingsbury, there has been no shortage of great performances by Canadian moguls athletes.

The momentum from those games in 2010 hasn’t stopped, and the Canadian moguls’ team has continued the strong performance into the 2014-2015 season.

And what a season it has been so far! After just two months of competition they have won an incredible 16 medals on the world cup circuit, seven of which have been gold. Recent success at the World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria was highlighted by a sweep of the men’s dual moguls podium, part of a six-medal performance in Austria.

When the team heads to Lake Placid this Thursday for a FIS world cup competition it will mark the first time they have competed on this side of the Atlantic since the Deer Valley events in early January. If their track record is any indication this year, make sure to watch out for Mikael, Philippe, Justine, Chloe and the rest of the moguls’ team as they try to add more hardware to the collection. Go Canada Go!

For news, information, and more make sure to check out the Freestyle Skiing Canada website.

For behind the scenes video content, visit the Freestyle Skiing Canada YouTube page.