A 100th podium for Kingsbury
Excellent on the course, Mikaël Kingsbury also distinguished himself in an interview immediately after the race by dedicating his victory and his 100e career podium for George McQuinn, victim of a violent fall on Thursday at the Freestyle Skiing World Cup in Deer Valley.
Starting just before Kingsbury in the mogul super final with Olympic qualification in his sights, the 23-year-old American hit his head hard on the second jump before hitting the ground. Appearing unconscious, he slipped into the finish area. The medical team intervened and the race was interrupted for about 15 minutes.
“It’s tough when something like this happens especially when it’s a young skier competing in his first career super final,” Kingsbury said. I stayed in my bubble and avoided looking down too much. When a skier is not moving and there are about 15 people around, it is not a good sign. “
“At the top of the course I knew he was unconscious, but we got some good news after the race,” Kingsbury continued. It is more difficult between the two ears when you live in such a situation. I had to put all the gum because Ikuma [Horishima] left in the last row knowing what had just happened and we had to deal with reduced visibility as the day progressed. “
For his performance in the super final which he started with a double twist on the first jump, Kingsbury had 83.28 points compared to 81.98 for Horishima. His compatriot Kosuke Sugimoto completed the podium with 79.02 points.
Asked by a colleague if he would take the start on Friday at the second stage in Deer Valley given the violent fall of McQuinn, Kingsbury had no hesitation.
“I’m definitely going to run,” he said. I know my limits and I feel in control. George had nothing to lose while on our side me and Ikuma are fighting for big points. “
With this victory, his 6e this season in ten races, Kingsbury now holds 32 points of priority over their Japanese opponent at the top of the cumulative World Cup standings.
Kingsbury gets his 100e podium in 119 World Cup starts. “It’s a plateau that I never thought I would reach,” he said. I haven’t thought about it all day. I realized this only after my second interview at the bottom of the trail. It’s a really special set and I’m happy to be the first to make it. I push back the records. “
“It’s even more special to win and get that 100e podium at Deer Valley which is the iconic track of the World Cup circuit, Kingsbury continues. It’s our Super Bowl, our Wimbledon, our Masters. “
Victorious in his last four starts, Kingsbury will try to add a gold medal to his harvest on Friday, as the Deer Valley course will be the scene of a second World Cup stop. He will then leave for Apex Mountain in British Columbia for final preparation for the Beijing Olympics.
“I’m happy because I’m reaching my peak at the right time,” he said. I feel better physically than at the start of the season. I hope the conditions will be difficult in Apex to prepare well for China. “
Two other Canadians broke the Top 16. On his third start since returning from a herniated disc, Laurent Dumais finished in 11e place while Gabriel Dufresne took the 13e rank, victim of a fall on the first jump where he attempted a very difficult maneuver. Dumais reached the final in his three races.
Among women, the Dufour-Lapointe sisters also reached the final. Justine concluded in 9e position while Chloe finished at 13e echelon.