Mikaël Kingsbury’s Gets bronze in Ruka, Finland
December 2, 2023
Calgary, Alberta – Since his first full season in 2010, Kingsbury had been virtually unstoppable in Ruka, claiming gold in all singles events apart from a ninth-place finish in 2014. Renowned for his incredible prowess in moguls skiing, The King of Moguls experienced an unexpected twist in his career on Saturday as his unbeaten streak in singles events at Ruka came to an end during the inaugural stage of the 2023-2024 World Cup season. Despite taking the bronze medal, Kingsbury’s usual dominance on the Finnish slopes faced a rare challenge.
Kingsbury’s journey in Ruka began on December 11, 2010, when he won a silver medal on what would become one of his favorite tracks. Over the years, he established himself as the dominant force in moguls skiing at this venue, making the bronze medal in the latest competition a bitter pill to swallow.
In the small final, the judges awarded him 80.11 points, slightly below his expectations. Despite a strong performance, Kingsbury’s decision to take risks in the grand final, opting for larger jumps and increased speed, did not yield the desired outcome. His final run mirrored that of the eventual winner, Japan’s Ikuma Horishima, who secured victory with a score of 82.68 points.
For the usually jubilant Kingsbury, this marked a rare occasion where he did not raise his fist upon crossing the finish line, signaling his acknowledgment that the performance fell short of his high standards.
Walter Wallberg, absent from the stage last year, claimed the silver medal with an impressive score of 79.88 points, while Julien Viel, who reached the first final after placing ninth in qualifying, finished eighth with a score of 74.20.
Following the podium ceremony, true to his competitive spirit, Kingsbury wasted no time and headed straight to the gym.
On the women’s side, Maia Schwinghammer reached the finals with a ninth-place finish. Coach Michel Hamelin commented on Kingsbury’s performance, emphasizing the broader strategy of putting pressure on their athletes, even when faced with uncertainty about the competitors’ capabilities.
As Kingsbury reflects on this uncharacteristic outcome, the moguls skiing community eagerly awaits his response in the upcoming events, wondering if a 3rd place finish will fuel his determination to reclaim the top of the podium.
The Freestyle Canada Mogul team returns to action Dec 7-9th in Idre Fjall, Sweden