Ruka, Finland, December 7, 2017 – As is the custom, the national moguls team will start its World Cup season in Ruka, Finland, on December 9, 2017, with a single moguls event. Following a hectic summer of on-snow camps and gym workouts, the skiers are ready to see how they stack up against their peers. A total of 11 World Cups are on the season schedule, culminating in the Olympic Games in February 2018.
Mikaël Kingsbury, defending champion on the World Cup circuit with 42 career podiums, wants a strong start to the season, as he did last year. “I’m ready!” says the athlete who now has six Crystal Globes to his credit. “I made it my goal to have a stellar start to the season and to sustain that momentum throughout the December and January competitions so that I get to the Olympics at peak fitness and health.”
His friend and teammate, Philippe Marquis, plans to put the summer months spent training indoors and out to good use at this first event. “I had one of my best summers of training ever. I’m at the top of my form and feeling very zen going into this season,” says the veteran moguls skier, who’s been on the Canadian team for 11 years, this one possibly his last. “I’m really looking forward to the start of World Cup season and the whirlwind of emotions that come with an Olympic year.”
Justine Dufour-Lapointe is more than ready for the first event. Thriving on adrenaline, she is anxious to find herself at the starting gate. "Sure, lot of attention this year is on the Olympic Games, but right now I'm focused on what I need to do at each World Cup to make the podium. Over the summer, I worked with the coaches to refine every aspect of my run. The intention now is to do it flawlessly so I make it to the Olympics in complete control of my game," says the Sochi gold medalist.
Meanwhile, British Columbian Andi Naude intends to follow through on last season’s strong showing. “I worked very hard at the training camps this summer, so I feel ready to get the season started. My game plan for the events ahead of the Olympics is to work on my two run combinations so that I’ll be ready to use one or the other at the Games,” says Naude, who was named as a member of Team Canada at the end of last season and is one of the few female skiers on the circuit to do the Back Full.
Still bothered by a knee injury suffered at the World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh will sit out the 2017-2018 season and undergo surgery. “I just spent a few days skiing in Western Canada to test my knee on snow and I had to face facts: the unstable knee can’t take the punishment of the moguls. Surgery is the most realistic option for me at this point,” said the skier. “I gave 100% in the last few months to get into top shape so that I could realize my Olympic dream, but it’s clear that won’t be happening. This is the smart choice for me right now.”
See the complete FIS World Cup schedule in Ruka here.
BROADCAST NOTES: The FIS World Cup in Ruka will stream live on cbcsports.ca from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. (ET)/6:30 to 8:00 a.m. (PT) on Saturday, December 9 and will be televised on CBC Sports at 5:00 p.m.
Men: Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, Qc), Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, Qc), Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, Qc), Laurent Dumais (Quebec City, Qc), Simon Lemieux (Repentigny, Qc), Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, Qc), Kerrian Chunlaud (Ste-Foy, Qc)
Ladies: Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montréal, Qc), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montréal, Qc), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montréal, Qc), Audrey Robichaud (Québec, Qc), Andi Naude (Penticton, BC), Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebonne, Qc)