STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY: S-Media
At the Vancouver 2010 Games, he was a 17 year old spectator. In 2014, a silver medalist. 2018?
Making his World Cup debut in January 2010, earning the FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year honours that season, Mikael Kingsbury has been a man on fire since. At his first World Championships in 2011, he took a bronze in moguls and silver in dual moguls, in the familiar position of one spot behind recently retired Alexandre Bilodeau.
When Bilodeau took a break from competition in the 2011-12 season, Kingsbury took the reins, quickly becoming an unstoppable force, amassing dozens of World Cup medals and collecting three straight crystal globes as the overall men’s World Cup champion.
Bilodeau stepped up one more time at Sochi 2014, exerting his will and executing one of the most impressive moguls runs in history, an emphatic gold medal performance to become the first Canadian man to successfully defend an individual Olympic gold. Then he retired. On top.
“We will miss Alex Bilodeau’s precedent-setting example of being a two-time Olympic champion,” said CFSA high-performance director David Mirota, “but our Sochi Olympians are stepping into their leadership roles. The team is a great mix. Athletes who podiumed in Sochi, strong top 10 results, and
the development team pushing from below … it’s encouraging for our future. 2018 in Korea is already in the works.”
Kingsbury enters the 2015 season as the one to beat again, and at just age 22, has his sights set on Pyeong Chang 2018 and beyond.
“I have four years and many competitions between now and Korea,” said Kingsbury. “I’ve still got so much to learn and heights I want to reach. I want to have tricks that have never been done before by the time of the next Olympics.”
Kingsbury already has 21 World Cup wins and 39 podiums in his remarkable career. He has four World Championships medals that cross the colour spectrum — a gold, two silvers and a bronze — plus his Sochi silver.
“He’s the type of kid who always wants to push the bar higher and take the sport to the next level,” Mirota said. “He’s well-rounded. His biggest asset is his competitive mindset and ability to rise to the occasion. He feeds on that.”
Mirota expects plenty more from Kingsbury in 2018 and 2022: “Mik already has a wide bag of tricks and can do a lot of tricks that he’s not allowed to do on tour. But the rules are always changing, and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it should help him have that extra edge and be competitive for a long period of time.”