Vancouver, BC – He is the most accomplished moguls skier the sport has ever seen, and following the result of the men’s moguls final tonight, Mikaël Kingsbury claimed the one title eluding him up to this point in his athletic career: Olympic Champion. It would be Canada’s first individual gold medal won at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
With a record 48 individual FIS World Cup titles and the number one ranked freestyle moguls skier in the world the past six years, Kingsbury was the heavy favourite going into this Olympic moguls event, with high expectations to improve upon his silver medal performance at the 2014 Sochi Games.
In a competition rife with unexpected crashes, Kingsbury skied a near perfect run in the super final, posting a score of 86.63 to beat out Australia’s Matt Graham by more than four full points. With his victory, Kingsbury claimed the fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal for Canada in the sport of moguls skiing.
“I’ve heard ‘Olympic Champion’ a million times in my dreams, but now it’s real,” commented Kingsbury. “I was very nervous before the first round, I was just trying to get to the bottom and onto the next round. I was able to save my best run for my last round, I feel amazing.”
Japan’s Daichi Hara finished in third place with a score of 82.19, resulting in a heartbreaking fourth place finish for Canadian Marc-Antoine Gagnon, the second of his Olympic career. Gagnon, along with Casey Andinga of the United States and Vinjar Slatten of Norway, all advanced all the way to the super finals from their second qualification run. They were the only skiers in the competition to ski four runs tonight. Gagnon also finished in fourth place at the 2014 Sochi Games.
“Twice in a row, obviously it’s a good result, but the fact that I was so close, again, it’s a bit hard,” commented Marc-Antoine Gagnon. “I went for it today, the course was tough, I made a few mistakes in the middle sections but there’s nothing I want to take back.”
The course itself proved to be the toughest competitor tonight, causing four of the top six world ranked moguls skiers to crash and not advance to the super final, including Japan’s Ikuma Horishima, the lone threat to Kingsbury going into this competition. Horishima beat Kingsbury at the 2017 World Championships as well as ended Kingsbury’s World Cup win streak at 13, claiming top spot in front of Kingsbury’s home crowd at last month’s FIS World Cup in Tremblant, Quebec.
Philippe Marquis continued his courageous fight tonight, skiing without an ACL following an injury sustained in a training run just a month ago. His Olympic journey would come to a painful end in the first final, as he carried too much speed coming out of top air and was not able to regain control going into the middle section of the course. Marquis would not finish his run, favouring his right knee heavily as he slipped down the side of the course.
“I landed too extended and that was the move I had to avoid at all costs,” commented Marquis. “When it happened, I felt the knee slide. I tried to ski three or four moguls, but my knee couldn’t support my weight, so I just tried to escape without further injuring myself.”
Freestyle Canada’s men’s and women’s moguls teams will resume their FIS World Cup schedule following the Olympic Games.
Women’s Aerials Qualifications February 15, 6 AM ET
Women’s Aerials Finals February 16, 6 AM EST
Women’s Slopestyle Qualifications February 16, 8 PM ET
Women’s Slopestyle Finals February 16, 11 PM ET
A complete listing of Olympic Freestyle events, with Canadian time changes, can be found on our website.