Who is Mikael Kingsbury?
Name: Mikael Kingsbury
Sport: Freestyle skiing
2016/17 World Cup ranking: 1st
- 2014 Olympic silver medalist
- 2-time world champion (moguls, 2013; dual moguls, 2015)
- 6-time World Cup moguls and overall freestyle skiing champion (2012-2017)
Kingsbury made his Olympic debut in 2014 at the age of 21. The Canadian went on to win the silver medal in moguls.
Kingsbury is a heavy favorite to earn the one honor that has eluded him at the PyeongChang Games. In doing so, Kingsbury would continue Canada’s dominance in moguls, as countryman Alexandre Bilodeau took gold at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.
In April 2017, Kingsbury was provisionally named to the Canadian moguls team due to his success on the World Cup circuit.
In November 2016, Kingsbury broke out a move no one else had ever completed in competition, the cork 1440, a off-axis spin with four full rotations.
"It's nice to have it in my back pocket," Kingsbury told the CBC in 2016. "I know that if I do it, I'll be the only one. We'll see. It depends on the circumstances. If at some point I know I need it to beat someone's run, I know I have it ready."
Kingsbury began skiing at the age of 4. Soon after, he joined a freestyle club and after seeing the club’s moguls team, his interest was piqued in the discipline.
The World Cup is where Kingsbury has found his most success, with 63 podium finishes in his first 80 starts. As of the end of the 2016/17 season, he is the all-time record holder for most World Cup wins with 42 and is the six-time defending FIS World Cup champion in both moguls and overall freestyle skiing.
In 2015 and 2016, he continued his streak of World Cup dominance, winning Crysal Globes for both the overall freestyle skiing title and moguls. Both years, he won the moguls title by over 300 points. In 2015, aerial skier Mac Bohonnon of the United States challenged Kingsbury for the overall title, but the Canadian ultimately edged him out by 15 points.
In 2015, he won dual moguls gold and moguls silver at the world championships in Kreischberg, Austria. Kingsbury defeated fellow Canadian Philippe Marquis in the dual moguls final and lost in the moguls final to Anthony Benna of France by 0.45 points.
2016/17 season recap
Kingsbury continued his Freestyle Skiing World Cup success with his sixth straight overall championship and moguls championship in 2017. In moguls, the next closest competitor, Ben Cavet, was almost 500 points behind Kingsbury.
The Canadian was unable to extend his dominance to the world championships though — he finished just third in moguls and 13th in dual moguls.
"If I look at my season, it was amazing," said Kingsbury to the Toronto Star. "I don't want the world championships to put a shadow on my season."
Off the snow
Kingsbury enjoys playing hockey and golf and also surfs and skateboards in his free time. In addition to playing hockey, he is also an avid Montreal Canadiens fan.
Outside of sports, Kingsbury studies human sciences at Cégep à distance, a distance-education program based in Montreal.
"I worked hard and feel I'm a stronger and mature skier. The skills to win at the Olympics, I know I have them. If I can ski my run [in PyeongChang] I think I can put myself in a very good position to win.” — Kingsbury on his Olympic prospects (Apr. 2017, CBC)