Vancouver, February 25, 2023 – He was heavily favored to win, and once again, he did! On Saturday, Mikaël Kingsbury was crowned world champion for the seventh time in his career, winning the gold medal in singles moguls at the World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia.
The Québécois set the stage before even commencing his final run, finishing first in both the qualifications and the first final.
“It’s crazy! I felt no pressure coming here, telling myself that since I already had six titles, why would I try for another? I tried to ski my best and to put it all out there. It was one of the strongest super finals I’ve ever competed in, but I believed in myself, and it’s amazing!” the gold medallist said into the Fédération internationale de ski microphone, following his win.
Kingsbury was awarded 89.82 points by the judges, edging out Australia’s Matt Graham (88.90) and Sweden’s Walter Wallberg (88.52), the defending Olympic champion.
The 30-year-old Canadian explained that as usual, he concentrated on living in the moment and focused on one run at a time.
“I felt good all day. I won the qualifiers with 87 points and the super final with 89. For me, it was a perfect day!”
For the other Canadians who advanced to the first final, scores were tight. Elliot Vaillancourt (Quebec, 80.49), Brenden Kelly (British Columbia, 80.18) and Julien Viel (Quebec, 80.13) finished the day in 12th, 13th and 14th place, respectively. Gabriel Dufresne (Quebec) was halted in the qualification rounds and finished 19th, only 0.77 points short of a spot in the first final with his teammates.
The dual moguls event will take place on Sunday, and Kingsbury has no plans to slow down. He won gold in the event at the last two world championships.
“Half my work is already done. I love dual moguls, so why not try for a third double world championship?”
First top-five world championships finish for Maia Schwinghammer
Maia Schwinghammer of Saskatchewan (13.37) advanced to the super final, where she finished fifth. Following an excellent start, the 21-year-old skier lost control and fell onto her left side. After taking a few seconds to recover, she shrugged off her discomfort and completed the course, despite being in pain.
It was Schwinghammer’s first time competing in the super final in her two career world championships appearances. In 2019, she finished 18th in the singles event in Deer Valley.
Perrine Laffont of France (87.40), who leads the World Cup rankings, won her fourth world title today, ahead of Jaelin Kauf of the USA (83.56) and Avital Carroll of Austria (80.19).
Lauriane Desmarais-Gilbert of Quebec and Berkley Brown of Ontario, who were both competing in their first World Championships as seniors, finished 11th and 15th on Saturday. Their day came to an end after the first final, in which they scored 72.59 and 67.18 points, respectively.