Kingsbury aiming higher in 2015-16 

Dominant moguls skier training in Whistler

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARC DURAND/CANADIAN FREESTYLE SKI ASSOCIATION - king of the moguls Mikaël Kingsbury, shown here celebrating his national moguls title, tied the record for career FIS victories in the discipline this season at just age 22.
  • Photo by Marc Durand/Canadian Freestyle Ski Association
  • king of the moguls Mikaël Kingsbury, shown here celebrating his national moguls title, tied the record for career FIS victories in the discipline this season at just age 22.

It's pretty difficult to top the 2014-15 season Mikaël Kingsbury put together.

The Deux-Montagnes, Que., resident, who turns 23 in July, won seven moguls competitions in a row this year, breaking the record he held with American competitor Jeremy Bloom.

As well, in addition to capturing his fourth FIS Crystal Globe in moguls, he also took home the overall freestyle title for the fourth time.

"I had an amazing season — even better than I expected," Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury, who arrived in Whistler on May 7 to train for next season, still has something to work for. He tied the all-time moguls wins mark with Edgar Grospiron with 28 wins, accomplishing the feat in 18 fewer appearances. Heading into next season, getting the mark all to himself is at the top of the list.

"It means a lot," he said. "If you would have told me I would be at that point at my age, I wouldn't have believed you.

"I'm having fun with what I do and I'm working hard."

With no Olympics or World Championships on next season, the primary focus for Kingsbury will be on the FIS Crystal Globe.

"It will be about winning the World Cup and trying to get the title for the fifth year in a row," he said. "I just want to stay consistent all year and stay healthy and continue to work in the right direction to arrive at my big goal there — an Olympic gold medal."

He won't get another crack at that goal until 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. He was close in his last attempt, but fellow Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau launched a successful golden defence in Sochi last winter, making Kingsbury the silver medallist.

"It's pushing me forward. It's a really big motivation for sure," he said. "Last Olympics, I got the silver medal, and of course, I want to improve that.

"I want to take it one year at a time and focus on the year that's coming, day by day, race by race and in the next Olympics, I'll be more ready than I was at the last one."

Kingsbury clarified that he didn't feel ill-prepared for Sochi by any stretch of the imagination, but with his first Games now under his belt, now has a better idea of what to expect and how to cope with any of the added expectations and pressures.

"I was exactly in the position I wanted to be at the last Olympics," he said. "I just know I can be better.

"I'm very happy with the way it was in Sochi, but at the next one, I want to be even more ready. I have the experience of the Olympics."

Coming just a touch short of his goal, Kingsbury didn't make any major changes last summer, explaining he continued developing his speed and jumps.

"Everything's going in the right direction," he said. "I'm training smart."

Kingsbury's jaunt to Whistler is a return from vacation, as he recently took some time to himself, taking it easy in both Scandinavia and the Caribbean in recent weeks. He's happy to be back in Canada, though — and not just because his beloved Montreal Canadiens notched their first two victories of the season against Tampa Bay while he was watching on the West Coast. (Kingsbury's good fortune ran out Tuesday night as the Habs fell in Game 6.)

"It feels good to come back and train. I love Whistler. It's like my second home," he said, noting he's happy with the condition of the moguls course. "We get to train at the gym and play ice hockey at night. It's one of my favourite times of the year.

"It's the best place for me to train this year."



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