After almost five weeks of a holiday break, the FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup is finally set to come back in action this upcoming weekend with the sixth and seventh competitions of the 2022/23 season rolling into Quebec’s Val St. Come on Friday and Saturday, January 27-28.
With no other competitions on the FIS Freestyle World Cup calendar this weekend it’s the mogul stars’ time to shine at a venue that sits right in the heart of what many consider to be the moguls hotbed of the world. The region is steeped in moguls tradition, with four of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games medallists calling Quebec home, and the course in Val St. Come named after two-time Olympic gold medallist Alex Bilodeau.
If there’s one venue on tour where the Canadians can expect rise and shine, it must be Val St. Come, where the home nation has a pretty impressive track of records, taking seven out of eight possible wins between 2014 and 2017, as well as a total of 16 out of 24 spots in top-3. In fact Hannah Kearney (USA) is the only athlete outside of Canada to have won the competition here.
One of the highlights on the venue at Val St.Come was a historic sweep of the podium by the sister trio of Justine, Chloe, and Maxime Dufour-Lapointe in 2016. The next year the Canadian women’s team swept yet another podium – this time with Chloe, Justine and Andi Naude making it into top-3.
Now, six years later the moguls World Cup tour is back again in Val St Come with two full days of world’s best moguls action hitting the renowned Quebecois resort this weekend with the evening finals for both moguls and dual moguls competitions scheduled to go under the lights.
Quebec has long been the locus of Canadian moguls skiing, producing some of the greats of the sport in the past and of the present, with the 2022 Olympic Winter Games medallist and the reining double World Champion Mikael Kingsbury in the house this weekend ready to lead the charge for the home Canadian squad.
Kingsbury, who leads the way in moguls as well as the overall moguls World Cup ranking, will be dropping against the likes of the current dual moguls World Cup leader Ikuma Horishima of Japan as well as Nick Page (USA), Cole McDonald (USA). Walter Wallberg (SWE), Matt Graham (AUS), Ben Cavet (FRA) and Filip Gravenforts (SWE), his closest rivals on tour so far in 2022/23.
But Kingsbury will be competing not far away from his hometown of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and with three victories and one second place finish at the venue in Val St. Come in the past, expect Kingsbury to show his best skiing again this weekend.
On the women’s side it looks like yet once again this season we should start with mentioning Jakara Anthony (AUS), Perrine Laffont (FRA) and Anri Kawamura (JPN), the current top-3 athletes in the overall moguls ranking. Anthony has already three victories into her record this season, Kawamura leads the way in dual moguls standing after winning the last competition in Alpe d’Huez, while Laffont scored a top-3 result at each of five events staged so far in 2022/23.
Beside the afore-mentioned trio also keep an eye on Elizabeth Lemley (USA), Avital Carroll (AUT), Makayla Gerken Schofield (GBR), Jealin Kauf (USA), RIno Yanagimoto (JPN) and Alli Macuga (USA), all in the overall moguls World Cup top-10 up to this point in the season.
The Friday’s competition starts with women’s qualifications at 14:15 EST. Men will follow up at 16:30 with the finals under the lights scheduled for 19:00. Sunday’s event will get underway with preliminary rounds on 16:30 EST and the finals also in the evening at 19:00.