Mikaël Kingsbury and Julien Viel Share Podium in Italy
Vancouver, February 11, 2023 – Canadians Mikaël Kingsbury and Julien Viel won silver and bronze, respectively, in the dual moguls event at the World Cup in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy, on Saturday.
In the big final, Kingsbury was defeated by his Japanese rival Ikuma Horishima. Horishima was the second to cross the finish line, but won the race on the basis of the judges’ scores.
“I’m really happy with my day, even though I’ve been having trouble with this course since the first day of training. My training session went well this morning, so I was feeling a bit more confident. This type of course doesn’t bring out the best of me as a skier. But my competitive side allowed me to go all the way, and the final race was close. I’m very happy to have finished in second place!” explained Kingsbury, following the event.
With today’s silver medal, the skier from Deux-Montagnes secured this year’s Crystal Globe, which is awarded to the athlete with the highest overall ranking in the discipline. In addition, the two-time defending world champion also solidified his lead in the race for the Globe in dual moguls. With only one event left on the schedule, Kingsbury has 362 points, putting him ahead of Walter Wallberg of Sweden (294 points) and Horishima (281 points) in the provisional standings.
“I increased my lead a bit for the Globe in duals, and I think I’m in a good position to win it. I’ll be able to focus on that after the World Championships, and I’ll take time to train for it when I’m home for a few weeks,” concluded Kingsbury, who hopes to add a 24th Crystal Globe to his collection at this season’s final World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Kingsbury’s teammate Julien Viel secured the first podium finish of his World Cup career today, with a victory over Dylan Walczyk of the USA in the small final.
“My objective today was to complete my races with minimal errors, and just to have a good time. That was my main goal, and it paid off!” stated the 21-year-old skier from Lévis, who earlier lost to Kingsbury in the semi-final.
“This was the second time I raced Mikaël in my career. He’s the best in the world, so my aim was to race as well as I could, and hope for the best before the last run of the day. It was awesome to be on the podium with him afterwards. It was a great experience!”
Also in action on the slopes of Chiesa in Valmalenco today were Elliot Vaillancourt (Drummondville, QC) and Gabriel Dufresne (Joliette, QC), who finished 14th and 15th, respectively, in the men’s round of sixteen. Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC) was eliminated by Walter Wallberg in the second round and finished 30th.
In the women’s competition, Canadian teammates Maia Schwinghammer (Saskatoon, SK) and Berkley Brown (Aurora, ON) squared off early on, with Schwinghammer coming out ahead. Schwinghammer then lost to Olivia Giaccio of the USA, who finished the day in fourth place overall.
Schwinghammer and Brown finished 12th and 23rd, while their teammate Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert (Sainte-Adèle, QC) finished 19th.
Perinne Laffont of France won the event, edging out Elizabeth Lemley of the USA in the final race. Anri Kawamura of Japan rounded out the podium.
The World Cup circuit will be on hiatus for just over a month to make way for the Freestyle Ski World Championships, which will be held from February 19 to March 5 in Bakuriani, Georgia.