Photo: Rick Bowmer Associated Press
Kingsbury has reached its main goal, to be crowned a double world champion last month in Deer Valley.
Mikaël Kingsbury can say mission accomplished. He remained the undisputed master of the bumps this season, adding to his already well-stocked.
Just back from Kazakhstan, where he played the last test of the world Cup on Saturday, Kingsbury has once again won everything, or almost, this season. Most importantly, it has achieved its main goal, to be crowned a double world champion last month in Deer Valley.
“After the olympic year, I thought I would not be able to see a better season, said the likeable athlete 26-year-old still under the effects of jet lag. It was probably my best season with the olympic gold medal and the conquest of the two crystal globes.
“To overcome this, I told myself that I needed to win both world championships and two crystal globes. I managed to win both, and I removed seven world Cups in nine events. “
He would have been able to afford a relaxation after having recorded the consecration olympic in Pyeongchang, the only title that was missing. But this is obviously not in his nature.
“On the contrary, I wanted to prove to others that I deserved once again to be regarded as the best in the world.
“For many, when they reach the pinnacle of their sport, they need a break after. Because it is exhausting mentally and physically. For me, it is the opposite. My success in the olympics and world Cup keep me even more motivated. I want to relive those moments. “
Since his debut with the national team in 2009, Kingsbury collects success at an ever greater pace. The circuit of the world Cup, it has a total of 81 podiums, of which 56 victories in 99 starts. He also has four world championship titles and two olympic medals — including a silver in 2014, behind his team-mate Alexandre Bilodeau.
And its rivals may have to take their evil in patience, since it has not yet reached its full potential…
And to say that this season was one of transition for Kingsbury. A restructuring at Ski acro Canada last summer has led to the departure of his coach Rob Kober and the entry in scene of Michel Hamelin, who led so far only the women’s programme. The performance of the principal shows that it is very well suited to the change.
“This change could not have come at a better time. During the nine years I’ve worked with Rob, he taught me stuff that I still use and that I will stay. It is a bit like the Mike Babcock of the mogul skiing “, was described by Kingsbury.
“Michel, it has a different approach, but equally effective. It will take me to the level where I want to be by the end of my career. I needed this change to remain the man to beat on the circuit. “
Kingsbury and Hampton have developed a four-year plan to enable the worker to be at its best in the 2022 Games in Beijing.
With the retirement announced to his teammate Philippe Marquis, Kingsbury is called to play a new role, that of a veteran of the men’s team and the mentor of the young generation that grows.
“I had the impression to be the youngest for a long time. And from one day to the next day, I realize that it is me, now, the veteran. It is like a new challenge for me. Phil [Marquis] has played this role incredibly in recent years, such as Marc-Antoine [Gagnon], and they showed me the good example to be a leader. “
Even if it is currently the only plodder in the men’s team to take part regularly in the finals and on the podium, he believes that his sport is health, and he said he is confident for the future, especially after having had a look at the Canada Games, which ended Sunday in Red Deer, Alberta.
When he speaks of his young team-mates within the national team program, Kingsbury argues that this is only a matter of time before you see them make a name for himself on the circuit of the world Cup.
“It’s a process. The performance is not yet at the rendezvous, but they are still a small error to make the playoffs or get a top 10.
“Laurent Dumais has already had a podium in the world Cup — Val Saint-Côme in 2016 — and he is on the verge of becoming a skier that can get on the podium in all the races. I also like the mentality of Kerrian Chunlaud, there is always going to bottom and which is very fast. And Gabriel Dufresne has just experienced his first season on the circuit. “
For the time being, Kingsbury intends to take the time to have some fun and reconnect with his family and friends, to recharge the batteries.
“It makes me feel good to be here. I don’t spend much time at home. When you take the time to answer, so that the return to training is always more enjoyable. “