Tag Archives: 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.

Nathan Smith

The month of March always signifies the last full month of competition for our snow sport athletes. From the final alpine world cup races in France, to the end of the biathlon world cup season in Russia, to our cross country athletes wrapping up their season in Norway, it has been an exciting time for our fans. Fans across Canada had a blast cheering our athletes on down the homestretch and watching them #goforgold one last time.

During the month of March, biathlete Nathan Smith finished his breakout season by making history for Biathlon Canada. Coming off a strong February in which he had career best finishes of 5th and 7th, Smith went on to win the silver medal at the world championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, finish 5th in a sprint race in Russia, and then win gold in the pursuit race only a couple days later.   These results represented a series of milestones both for Smith as an athlete, and for Biathlon Canada:

  • First Canadian male to win a medal at the Biathlon World Championships
  • Second Canadian male to win a biathlon world cup gold medal
  • First Canadian male to win a both a world championship and world cup biathlon medal in the same season

With such a record-setting month, Nathan Smith is deservedly the Snow Sports Canada Athlete of the Month for March. Congratulations Nathan!

Notable Performances

Nathan Smith wasn’t the only Snow Sports Canada athlete who truly owned the snow in March. In fact, during the last work cup stops many of our athletes rose to the challenge and put in some of their best performances of the season. We now would like to acknowledge the following athletes for their strong performances at their respective final world cup events of the 2015-’16 season:

  • Taylor Henrich won her second bronze medal of the season at the final event in Norway
  • Dustin Cook won the alpine super-g in Meribel, France to end a breakout season
  • Chris Robanske finished the season on a high note, winning snowboard cross gold in Spain
  • Cassie Sharpe & Mike Riddle both won gold at the final halfpipe event in Tignes, France
  • Brady Leman stole silver at the last ski cross race of 2015 in Megeve, France

Congratulations to all of our athletes as they wrapped up the season in style and continued to show the world that when it comes to snow sports, no team is better than #TeamCanada

 

Nordic World Champs Pic

One of the biggest events of the nordic skiing season, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, is just around the corner. With huge crowds, the best athletes from around the world, and a variety of events, this is a can’t-miss event for any nordic skiing fan. Read on to get familiar with the event, meet the athletes, and brush up on your knowledge of Team Canada!

Location

A city of 38,000 inhabitants, located in Sweden, Falun was named a world heritage site in 2001 by the United Nations. Falun has a history of hosting many high-level nordic skiing events, including the world championships. Currently held every other year, Falun has hosted the world championships three times – in ’54, ’74 & ’93. In 1954, an estimated 115,000 spectators watched 500 athletes from 21 nations compete, and while doing so set a record for attendance at a single winter sport event in Sweden when 50,000 watched the ski jumping final. The record wouldn’t be broken until Falun again hosted the nordic world championships, in 1993.

Falun 2015

The world championships contain three disciplines of nordic skiing – cross country, ski jumping, and nordic combined, the latter of which is a combination sport consisting of one run of ski jumping, and one run of cross country. Canada has hosted the nordic skiing world championships once, in 1995 in Thunder Bay, and this marked only the second time the event had been held outside of Europe. Spread out over eleven competition days, there are twelve different races on the programme for both men and women. The event kicks off Feb. 18th and wraps up March 1st.

Building on Success in 2013

Although Canada failed to win a medal when it hosted the event in ’95, Team Canada has since won three medals at the world championships – one gold and two bronze medals. Canada’s most accomplished cross-country skiing athlete, Alex Harvey, has won a medal in each of the last two world championships – a gold in the team sprint in 2011 in Norway with team-mate Devon Kershaw, and a bronze in the individual sprint event in 2013 in Italy.

Our Athletes

This year, Canada will look to build on its success of late at the world championships, and add to its medal count. The following athletes will represent Cross Country Canada:

Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov, Len Valijad, Jesse Cockney, Graeme Killick, Perianne Jones, Emily Nishikawa & Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt.

Join us in cheering on our athletes as they compete to show the world that #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.