Tag Archives: Kingsbury

Olympic champion Kingsbury calls for urgent action to allow sport in Quebec schools

Quebec mogul king Mikael Kingsbury is calling for the return of sport in schools.

In an open letter on Wednesday to Quebec Premier François Legault, the reigning Olympic and world moguls champion says urgent action is needed amid the COVID-19 restrictions.

“I am worried about the situation of young athletes,” wrote the 28-year-old freestyle skiing star. “The health of thousands of young people is at risk.”

Inspired in part by his own experiences growing up, Kingsbury is lending his voice to the efforts of a 16-year-old high school student, Isaac Pépin, who has been urging the provincial government to show flexibility in its approach to sport in schools.

WATCH | Kingsbury writes open letter to Quebec Premier François Legault:

Days before the world championship, the moguls skier writes an open letter to Quebec Premier urging the government to get kids out of their houses. 5:49

Kingsbury told CBC Sports in an exclusive interview on Thursday that the plea is something he understands all too well.

“Having grown up skiing and playing baseball with my friends, sport is a motivator. A source of meaning,” he said, adding that sport was a big part of what helped keep him coming back to class.

For the 28-year-old native of Deux-Montagnes, Que., it’s also a question of mental as well as physical health.

“I am worried that young people are lost. That they are abandoning sport in favour of screens,” Kingsbury wrote in his letter to Legault.

This is why Kingsbury supports Pépin’s calls for the resumption of supervised sport.

‘I got dizzy’

“I stopped this week and wondered what I would do if I was this young man deprived of sport for a year in a period of a pandemic,” Kingsbury wrote.

“I got dizzy! I wouldn’t have had the capacity to survive a full year without my passion. I tell you very simply: I would be adrift. I am convinced that sports clubs, sports organizations and federations have the capacities, the means, but above all the determination necessary to protect young people and their families. Before, during and after sports practice.”

And Kingsbury feels the time to act is now.

“It’s been a year where people across Canada, but especially in Quebec, have not been able to play collective sports,” he told CBC Sports. “It’s like a year the kids are losing and will never get back again.”

WATCH | Kingsbury reflects on consecutive World Cup victories:

A day after winning his 1st event in Deer Valley, reigning Olympic and world moguls champion Mikael Kingsbury from Deux-Montagnes, Que., earns his 2nd straight victory with a win in dual moguls. 1:35

Legault said he understands the frustration, but also the importance of sport on mental health during a COVID-19 update on Wednesday.

“People who know me know that I do a lot of sports,” Legault said. “Sports is important. There’s nothing better to decrease stress levels, and it’s important for mental heath. But we all agree that certain sports, at the very least, we might get too close and bring about contagion.”

While discussions with sports federations are still ongoing, Legault will offer more of an update next week and acknowledged that “as of March 15th, everywhere in Quebec will be able to start outside school activities.”

Meanwhile, Kingsbury — who only recently returned to action in February after fracturing his T4 and T5 vertebrate in November prior to the opening of the freestyle ski season — is in Kazakhstan gearing up for freestyle skiing world championships in Almaty.

He says the passion that Pépin and fellow organizers have exhibited for sport has given him extra motivation to win. 

“[They] are only asking for one thing: to breathe new life into young people by allowing them to reconnect with their passion.”

Kingsbury won’t be able to stand with protestors at a planned rally in front of the provincial parliament on Sunday, but remains hopeful activities will open up when he returns to his home province.

“On behalf of all athletes in Quebec, amateurs and professionals, I hope that when I return home in mid-March, sport will find its rightful place.”

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Mikael Kingsbury wins top male athlete of the year honours

Mikael Kingsbury is truly a dominant force.

Kingsbury has nine wins in 11 World Cup starts the past two years. And the native of Deux Montagnes, Que., whose career average surpasses one victory for every two events (63 wins in 114 starts), shows no signs of slowing down.

In February, Kingsbury won the moguls and dual moguls at the 2019 freestyle world championship — a goal that was close to his heart after a disappointing performance two years earlier in Spain.

“I think that was the highlight of my 2019 season, to win the back-to-back at the world championships the year after the Olympics, and just hold all the titles right now,” he said.

After capturing an eighth consecutive Crystal Globe as season champion, Kingsbury is also a repeat winner of the Lionel Conacher Award, given annually to Canada’s top male athlete.

Kingsbury received 15 of 71 votes (21.1 per cent) in a Canadian Press survey of sports editors, reporters and broadcasters in newsrooms across the country.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka, who finished runner-up in National League rookie of the year voting after compiling a 13-4 record with a 2.68 ERA, finished second with 10 votes. Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard and sprinter Andre De Grasse followed with nine votes each.

Tennis player Denis Shapovalov, Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid, St. Louis Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly and Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris each got six votes. Tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime (3 votes) and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (1 vote) also made the list.

Tennis player Bianca Andreescu was named female athlete of the year Thursday. The team of the year will be announced Saturday.

Kingsbury said it was “super special” to regain top form in Utah after a disappointing performance in 2017.

“I didn’t have the world championships I wanted in Spain, and in the 2019 season the world championships were in Deer Valley, and this is kind of where my dream started in mogul skiing,” he said.

“When I watched my first Olympics on TV, it was in Deer Valley on that course.”

WATCH | Kingsbury takes gold in 100th World Cup start:

Canadian Mikael Kingsbury won the moguls’ season opener in Finland with a score of 90.8. 1:17

Voters recognized his accomplishments.

“He continues to dominate his sport as nobody has before,” wrote Sylvain St-Laurent, head of sports for Le Droit d’Ottawa, to explain his vote for Kingsbury.

“I don’t think it’s wrong to say he’s the best freestyle skier in the world and he can even be considered the best of all time, given his accomplishments,” wrote Anthony Bruno of Global News.

Another legend of the sport said Kingsbury’s mental strength makes him so dominant.

“His passion for the sport, above all,” said retired skier Jean-Luc Brassard, who won gold in moguls at the 1994 Olympics. “He’s also someone who has an insatiable pleasure to compete, not to mention his exemplary diligence in training.”

“He also has an incredible capacity for anticipation. And since he also practised acrobatic jumps at the start of his career, he has a wealth of experience. He’s ahead of his time since he’s mastered jumps that aren’t even authorized in competition yet. “

Michel Hamelin, the moguls team trainer who has known Kingsbury since he was 10 years old, noted Kingsbury’s ability to adapt to different circumstances.

“In moguls, it’s difficult because the courses change constantly,” he said. “So, to win competition after competition the way Mick does, I find that exceptional.”

Hamelin said the secret to Kingsbury’s longevity at the top of the sport also reflects his undiminished love of taking on challenges.

“Like a kid who has fun with toys, Mick does that with his sport,” Hamelin said.

While he has fun in competition, the 27-year-old takes nothing for granted.

“I love watching videos of my sport. I have videos of all the World Cups since 2002, and I know the descents of all the winners,” he said.

Kingsbury thrives on big stage

Kingsbury also appears to be immune to pressure.

“I love competition. You see a lot of skiers training, but its a different story on course because of the stress and the pressure to do well,” Kingsbury said. “Me, I’m fueled by pressure, by competition.

“In the summer, what I miss the most is not skiing, it’s being in the starting gate, the last to go, having all the spotlights on me and having the feeling that I can stand out.”

Kingsbury appears to take pleasure in having a target on his back.

“We still have a few little things he hasn’t tried yet in competition, whether it’s jumps with grabs, a little higher amplitudes, with one more spin,” Hamelin said. “We should be going in that direction this year.”

Kingsbury, for his part, says he still has goals to reach.

“In World Cups, it’s far from a perfect record,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m going to win every race, but continuing to take risks, to ski to the best of my abilities and stay consistent,” he said.

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Mikael Kingsbury a dual world champion after winning dual moguls

Canadian Mikael Kingsbury captured his second world title in less than 24 hours, soaring to gold in dual moguls at the world ski championships in Park City, Utah, on Saturday.

Kingsbury scored 87.62 points in the final, while American Bradley Wilson was second with 84.69. Japan's Daichi Hara took bronze.

The 26-year-old from Deux-Montanges, Que., won the moguls world title on Friday at Deer Valley Resort. It's the first time Kingsbury has won both moguls titles at the same world championship; he previously captured the 2015 dual title and the 2013 singles crown.

WATCH | Kingsbury captures another world title

The Canadian captured his second world title in less than 24 hours, soaring to gold in dual moguls at the world ski championships in Deer Valley, Utah 3:06

"In 2017 in Sierre Nevada, I remember being in admiration of Ikuma Horishima when he won both titles, because no one before him had managed to do so in the same year," Kingsbury said in a press release. "And now I'm doing it this year. I am speechless. I now have four world championship titles, it's incredible."

WATCH | Kingsbury discusses staying calm ahead of the final

CBC Sports' Sophia Jurksztowicz spoke with Mikael Kingsbury after he took home the gold in the men's dual moguls final at the Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships from Deer Valley, Utah. 1:30

France's Perrine Laffont was crowned world champion in the women's final, defeating Jaelin Kauf of the United States. Fellow American Tess Johnson earned the bronze medal.

Sofiane Gagnon was the top Canadian, finishing 10th, while Justine Dufour-Lapoints placed 12th.

"The course here in Deer Valley is a real challenge, the bumps are huge, so one of the main challenges here is to win against the bumps," Dufour-Lapointe said. "I'm happy with my last run, I did a big 360, but I had an edge problem and I went a little off my track, and that's what made the difference."

Kingsbury, meanwhile, focused on executing clean runs to ensure the highest scores possible,

"In these conditions, my strength is not to make any mistakes; that way, judges can't take away points," Kingsbury said. "I know that in duals, everyone wants to fight me and therefore wants to go faster, but I make it difficult for them by not making any mistakes.

"This is what happened in the final."

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Canada's mogul king pushed off throne as Mikael Kingsbury finishes 5th at World Cup

Mikael Kingsbury's perfect start to the moguls season finally came to an end on Friday.

The Canadian settled for fifth in a World Cup event, marking the first time in five starts Kingsbury, 26, did not finish on top of the podium.

"I had a perfect season so far, so it's a little difficult to accept," Kingsbury said. "But I'm going to do better next week in Tremblant."

The reigning Olympic champ from Deux-Montagnes, Que., finished with 72.93 points.

WATCH | Mikael Kingsbury finishes 5th:

Kingsbury finished fifth in New York on Friday, the first time in five events that he's failed to win on the World Cup circuit. 1:29

Kingsbury had reached the podium in his previous 19 outings in a single mogul event. His last miss also was in Lake Placid when he finished sixth on Jan. 13, 2017.

"I skied well on my first two runs, but in the super final I tried to go a little too big on the top jump and made a stupid mistake," said Kingsbury.

WATCH | Benjamin Cavet takes gold:

Cavet won by more than three points in New York on Friday. 1:23

France's Benjamin Cavet (84.83 points) took gold, Sweden's Walter Wallberg (81.47) was second and Australia's Matt Graham (80.94) was third.

Philippe Marquis of Quebec City was eighth.

On the women's side, Canada also had two top-10 finishers. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal was seventh and Sofiane Gagnon of Whistler, B.C., was eighth.

WATCH | Australian Jakara Anthony tops moguls podium in New York:

Anthony finished almost four points ahead of the silver medal winner in Lake Placid on Friday. 1:23

"It was a good day in some ways, not so good in others," Dufour-Lapointe said. "I worked on some things this week, especially on corks, but today the mix wasn't quite right."

Jakara Anthony of Australia won, Perrine Laffont of France was second and American Tess Johnson captured bronze.

The World Cup moguls circuit heads to Mont-Tremblant, Que., next week.

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Mikael Kingsbury keeps adding hardware, named CP male athlete of the year

Mikael Kingsbury never had so much to lose as on Feb. 12, when he hit the track at the Phoenix Snow Park. As the odds-on favourite in the men's moguls event at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the 26-year-old ski star was well aware that only a victory would meet expectations.

Going second-last in the super final, Kingsbury rose to the occasion. In full control, he nailed a perfect descent that earned him the one title that had eluded him: Olympic champion.

"I was in the position where it was gold or nothing," the athlete from Deux-Montagnes, Que. said of his second Olympic experience.

"For those who follow my sport, even a second place would have been considered a poor performance. Yes, there was pressure but, at the top of the course, I had a really good feeling. And when that's the case, I have confidence and that's always a good sign."

Kingsbury's dream year earns him the Lionel Conacher Award from The Canadian Press as Canada's male athlete of the year.

The Quebec skier was chosen by 30 of the 56 sportswriters and commentators from newsrooms across the country.

He beat out Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid (12 votes), who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer as well as the Ted Lindsay Award for outstanding player as selected by his peers.

Next on the list was soccer phenom Alphonso Davies with five votes, double Olympic speed skating medallist Ted-Jan Bloeman (3), para-skier Brian McKeever (3), New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall (2), and Ottawa Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli (1).

"I could have chosen McDavid, as we chose [Sidney] Crosby at one time, but Kingsbury's gold was one of the strongest moments of the Korean games, leading into performances by other Canadian athletes," wrote Le Quotidien's Denis Bouchard.

"No other Canadian athlete dominates their sport as outrageously as Mikael Kingsbury," wrote Jean-Francois Begin of La Presse.

Watch Kingsbury win his 50th World Cup moguls title:

The Deux-Montagnes, Que., skier opened the season by winning his 50th career moguls World Cup title in Ruka, Finland on Friday. 0:44

While Olympic gold was undoubtedly the highlight of his year, Kingsbury continued to dominate the World Cup circuit with seven victories in 10 starts, including three in a row to end the 2017-18 season.

He won two Crystal Globes at the end of the last World Cup season as overall men's freestyle points leader and overall men's moguls leader.

Kingsbury becomes the first skier to win the Lionel Conacher Award, which is named after the multi-sport champion chosen as the top athlete of the first half of the 20th century in 1950.

Golfer Brooke Henderson was awarded the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as female athlete of the year on Wednesday for the third time. The sports team of the year will be named on Friday.

Earlier this month Kingsbury was also awarded the Toronto Star's Lou Marsh Award for top Canadian athlete.

"It's crazy to have had this much success," Kingsbury said. "It's an almost perfect season. My worst 2018 result was a second place."

"Compared to other sports, like tennis, it's as if I won all the Grand Slam finals."

Nobody in moguls like Mikael

Kingsbury dominates his sport.

In January 2018 Kingsbury set a new record for World Cup wins with his 47th victory. He has 52 victories in 93 starts.

"I kind of feel like I have an aura around me. Without saying I intimidate the other competitors due to my repeated success, I have a great confidence in my abilities, I make few errors and that lets me find little advantages over them," he said.

"But I know I have a big target on my back and they all want to beat me. I've been first in the world for seven years, and every year there are those who say, 'Kingsbury, we're going to push him aside.' It makes the competition even more interesting."

And even if he's won everything, don't expect him to relinquish his throne. Kingsbury says there's still plenty to motivate him.

"I love to win and I still want to win, but my motivation isn't necessarily found in results," he said. "I'm aiming above all to reach my full potential, to innovate in my sport, to try new jumps. I want to see how far I can go."

"While perfection doesn't exist in my sport, my goal is to get as close as possible to it and to push the limits, in speed as well as the execution of my jumps."

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Moguls star Mikael Kingsbury hopes to start season as king of the hill

The celebrated Canadian Olympic gold medallist is back.

Mikael Kingsbury, the mogul skiing champion in Pyeongchang, begins the 2018-19 World Cup season on Friday in Ruka, Finland.

Finishing at the top of the podium this weekend would give Kingsbury his 50th World Cup win — a huge milestone for the accomplished 26-year-old. He already holds the record on the all-time moguls wins list after collecting his 47th World Cup victory on Jan. 10, 2018.

A year ago, Kingsbury opened a dominant season with a win in Finland and he hopes to continue the trend.

"Starting this season well in Finland in the first event is always so important," Kingsbury told CBC Sports. "If I start well, I kind of create momentum for the rest of this season." 

Kingsbury, from Deux-Montagnes, Que., knows a thing or two about momentum. He won his first six World Cup events last season on his way to collecting his seventh-straight Crystal Globe as the top moguls athlete on the tour.

Watch Kingsbury capture gold in Pyeongchang:

Canadian moguls skier Mikael Kingsbury won Olympic gold to add the only thing missing from his resume. 0:53

As great as last year was, Kingsbury is happy to not have the added pressure of an Olympic Games looming over him this season.

"There is pressure that comes with my position of being the favourite to win the gold medal last year," Kingsbury said.

"It was kind of fun this summer to train and not have the focus be on one event or on one medal."

Get to know Mikael Kingsbury:

Learn five mind-boggling facts about Canada's top male moguls skier: Mikael Kingsbury. 1:16

There were a few slight bumps in the road last season. Kingsbury came second in his last two World Cup races, narrowly falling to Japanese skiier Ikuma Horishima.​ 

Kingsbury ​is known as a perfectionist on the hill and is his own biggest critic when he's not satisfied with a race.

"I'm super hard on myself," Kingsbury said. "I'm a perfectionist and when I don't have a good result, yes I'll be mad, but I'll be mad at myself."

However, Kingsbury understands how to properly channel his anger in order to improve.

"I'm going to be mad for five to 10 minutes," Kingsbury said. "After that, I can breathe and start thinking about what I've done wrong and moving on to try to bounce back for the next event."

Fellow Canadians Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe are also set to compete in Finland this weekend. 

Justine was the silver medallist in the women's event in Pyeongchang after her and Chloe memorably went one-two at the Sochi Games in 2014. 

CBC Sports will stream live coverage of the freestyle skiing World Cup from Ruka on Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET. 

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Mikael Kingsbury stays golden at Deer Valley World Cup

Mikael Kingsbury is going downhill, fast.

Which just means more wins for Canada’s king of the moguls.

The Deux-Montagnes, Que., native earned his 13th straight gold medal on Thursday to complete the sweep at the World Cup in Deer Valley, Utah.

Kingsbury extended his win streak to 13 straight with his gold medal Thursday night at the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup event at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah.1:45

It was also his 48th first-place finish of his career, the most of any freestyle skier in history.

Kingsbury scored 88.80 points in the final, well clear of Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Reikherd in second (83.66) and Australia’s Matt Graham in third (82.37).

“I can tell you that this course is one of the hardest in the world and to ski under 26 seconds it’s quite an accomplishment and it’s very fast,” Kingsbury said. “But yeah, the guys were all pushing the limits so I had to push and bring out the best side of me and I was able to.”

Thursday’s win was Kingsbury’s ninth at Deer Valley in 14 events there since 2012. He also has three second-place finishes in Park City.

Kingsbury swept the moguls and dual moguls competitions at Deer Valley last February and hasn’t lost a World Cup since. His last second-place performance came in Calgary on Jan. 28, 2017.

“I’m happy with the results here,” Kingsbury said. “The track here is challenging both mentally and physically. This gives me confidence for the Olympics. To be able to perform under pressure like I did this week, it feels like a very good learning experience.”

The final moguls World Cup before the Olympics is scheduled for Jan. 20 at Mont-Tremblant, Que., about an hour’s drive from Kingsbury’s hometown.

“It is different to ski in front of friends and family members. They are used to certain results from me,” Kingsbury said. “I want to do well, but it is a new track. I have no expectations. I’m already having an incredible season.

“The important thing for me will be not to overdo it. I need to save some energy for the pre-Olympics camp and the Games themselves. Deer Valley was an important event because the track is difficult. It is also similar to what we will get in Pyeongchang, and I did a good job there.”

Earlier in the day, Canada’s Philippe Marquis, another moguls skier, announced on Instagram that he had torn his right ACL in training for the event on Monday. 

Marquis is still hopeful of representing Canada at the Olympics in February.

Naude finishes 5th

Andi Naude was the top Canadian woman, finishing fifth and improving one spot on her previous night’s performance.

Jaelin Kauf of the U.S. won gold with a score of 81.37, almost one point ahead of silver medallist Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont (80.38). American Morgan Schild finished third at 78.76.

The 22-year-old was unable to crack the podium, but did record her 5th top 5 finish of the season at the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup from Deer Valley in Park City, Utah.1:18

Naude, the Penticton B.C., native clocked in at 77.62. She’s won two bronze medals and finished in the top six at each of her competitions this year. 

Justine Dufour-Lapointe finished eighth, while sister Chloe was 14th.

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King of the hill: Canada's Kingsbury has most wins in history after 12th straight moguls gold

Mikael Kingsbury’s winning run is leaving him speechless.

The Canadian extended his World Cup moguls winning streak to 12 straight on Wednesday night in Park City, Utah to set a new record with his 47th career victory. 

Canadian earns 12th straight gold at World Cup event.1:31

The win pushed him past Americans Hannah Kearney and Donna Weinbrecht for the record.

“I don’t know where to start anymore, it’s been a crazy ride,” said Kingsbury.

“I was having fun today. I felt very confident at the start gate and the fact that I’m beating Hannah Kearney and Donna for the number of wins all time, it’s just unbelievable. There’s no words. These ladies are legends in the sport and to have my name above them now, it’s a big honour for me.”

Dominating performance

Kingsbury, of Deux-Montagnes, Que., dominated the competition with 87.33 points to finish ahead of Japan’s Sho Endo (84.44) and American Bradley Wilson (82.61). 

The 25-year-old Kingsbury has won gold at each World Cup stop he’s competed in since Jan. 28, 2017, when he settled for silver in Calgary.

The victory is his fifth in as many competitions this season and eighth in 13 career competitions at the Deer Valley course.

“I worked very hard to try to manage my energy this week and I was able to ski my best in the final and super final,” he said. “It seems like it’s been like that all the competitions this season where I’m able to be clutch at the right moment.”

He has already qualified for the Pyeongchang Games, where next month he’ll go for one of the few pieces missing from his resume — an Olympic gold medal. Fellow Canadian Alex Bilodeau won back-to-back Olympic gold, at the Sochi Games in 2014 and Vancouver in 2010.

Naude is top Canadian woman

On the women’s side, Canada’s Andi Naude was the top finisher in sixth, while France’s Perrine Laffont was golden.

French skier claims gold with a score of 81.88 points.1:12

Before this evening, the Penticton, B.C., native finished in the top five in each of her previous competitions, including a pair of bronze medals.

Chloé Dufour-Lapointe and sister Justine finished 20th and 21st respectively.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe is the reigning Olympic champion while Chloé was the runner-up four years ago in Sochi.

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Mikael Kingsbury scores World Cup moguls gold in China

Mikael Kingsbury continued the World Cup moguls season the way he started it — by reaching the top of the podium in Thaiwoo, China, on Thursday.

The 25-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que., scored 83.61 points in the super final to claim the win, just ahead of Australia’s Matt Graham (82.75) and Troy Murphy of the U.S. (80.57).

Two more Canadians finished in the top 10: Phillippe Marquis was eighth (77.03) and Marc-Antoine Gagnon of Montreal finished 10th (76.07).

The Deux-Montagnes, Quebec native won his 44th career World Cup win at the FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup in Thaiwoo, China1:39

With Thurday’s win, Kingsbury has now captured nine consecutive World Cup wins and upped his career total to 44.

“Once again I was able to change gears at the right time and I did my best run in the super final,” Kingsbury said. “I made a few little mistakes in the final but it still put me in fourth for the super final. And that’s when I had my best run.

On the women’s side, Canada’s Andi Naude will bring home a bronze medal.

The Penticton, B.C., native scored 77.64, just behind American Jaelin Kauf (77.90) and Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan (77.79).

The Penticton, B.C., native landed on the podium for the first time this season at the FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup in Thaiwoo, China1:13

“Being able to ski in the three rounds from qualification to final and super final was my goal and also to stick to the process and ski my best every single run,” Naude said. “I am really excited to have been able to use my backfull in all three runs. Obviously the harder degree of difficulty is really valuable.”

Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe finished just off the podium in fourth place, scoring 76.65.

Competition continues in Thaiwoo on Friday.

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