Weather forces the cancellation of the parallel mogul event, ends Kingsbury's chance at a 10th Crystal Globe
Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada, trains during the men's dual moguls skiing world championship, in Park City, Utah, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Rick Bowmer
ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN -- The chances of Mikael Kingsbury deserving a 10th consecutive crystal globe in moguls at the Freestyle Skiing World Cup on Sunday were slim.
However, with one more race on the program, they were still possible, if only mathematically... until the weather got involved.
The parallel mogul event - the last race on the 2020-2021 calendar - which was due to take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, has been cancelled due to bad weather.
The whims of Mother Nature thus ended the Freestyle Skiing World Cup season.
They also prevented the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts superstar from capping a third victory in as many World Cup outings in 2021 and, failing to climb to the top, to gain points in the final cumulative standings.
Kingsbury thus concludes the season in sixth position in the general classification of the discipline, dominated by the Australian Matt Graham with 289 points.
Frenchman Benjamin Cavet finished second with 271 points while Swede Ludvig Fjallstrom was third with 258 points.
Kingsbury had collected the Crystal Globe every year since 2012.
SHORT BUT PERFECT SEASON
Nicknamed the 'King of the Moguls', Kingsbury only competed in two of the six races that had been on the calendar in 2020-2021. Two races that he had won, a little over a month ago, and gave him 200 points in the standings.
Victim of fractured T4 and T5 vertebrae during a training session in early December 2020, Kingsbury hailed his return to the slopes by winning the mogul event in Deer Valley, United States, on Feb. 4.
The victory comforted him in terms of his personal expectations and also convinced him that his return to the track was perfectly timed and planned.
"For sure if you step back two months ago, the way I was feeling, I was wondering if I was going to be okay to get back on the slopes," he said within minutes of the victory. "But with the training I did, the preparation with my physical trainers, the rest I took and the way I started my training camps, one at a time to build my competition, I am not surprised. '
The next day, he outperformed all his rivals again by triumphing in the parallel moguls event.
"It's a big message to my competitors," Kingsbury said of those two wins. "If I can do it (in these two races), I can do it on any other occasion.
"I still believe in my chances, but I don't want to put pressure on myself about the crystal globe. Would one more change my life? I do not think so. My goal is to challenge the best in every race."
In addition to his two World Cup triumphs this season, Kingsbury emerged victorious in the mogul and mogul events alongside the World Championships on March 8 and 9 respectively in Almaty.
-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2021.