Mikael Kingsbury is looking forward to being the crowd’s hero for at least one weekend.
Kingsbury, of Deux-Montagnes, won 83 World Cups, a record in mogul skiing.
He has a habit of causing disappointment for mogul fans around the world when he beats local skiers.
On January 25 and 26, in the Freestyle Skiing World Cup, he will be in Val Saint-Côme where he will finally be the crowd favorite, after months of competing in Europe.
“It’s fun once a year to have the crowd behind you. I’m usually the one who spoils the party in other countries, Kingsbury said, during a video call.
“I like to be the one to quiet the crowd on the road but at home it’s nice to have everyone cheering you on. It gives me extra energy. »
Already the most successful skier in mogul history, Kingsbury continues to dominate this season with seven podiums in seven events: four gold medals and three bronze.
On December 22-23, he won bronze in moguls and gold in parallel moguls at the World Cup in Bakuriani, Georgia.
At 31, Kingsbury has had to change the way he prepares while remaining efficient.
“I learned through the pandemic that it’s okay to rest,” said Kingsbury, who made his workouts more effective. It motivates me, it means that I’m never really on autopilot.
“I’m in great shape because I knew the calendar included one of the most demanding Decembers of my career. »
Adjusting his routines has been key for Kingsbury, who is preparing for at least one more Olympiad. He was in Sochi in 2014, PyeongChang in 2018 and Beijing in 2022, winning silver, gold and silver in moguls respectively.
“When I started this (Olympic) cycle, I was planning one year at a time, but I knew deep down that I could still win, that I was still getting better,” said Kingsbury, who noted that the parallel moguls have been added to the program for the Milan-Cortina Olympic Games in 2026.
“I feel like the competition is getting stronger, but I also feel like I still have a lot of skiing in me, so I see myself there. We’re almost halfway through the cycle, so I can almost see the finish line. »
Kingsbury acknowledges that competing in four Olympics is rare, and that his longevity also reflects how hard he and his team have worked over the past decade.
“(My coach) is there at the starting gate with me, he talks about all the strategy and we do hours of video. My gym trainer makes sure I’m on point with my takeoffs and landings, Kingsbury said.
“He’s trying to see how to progress and find new ways to increase the level of difficulty. I have my mental trainer and also my trainer who I see five times a week in Montreal, when I am at home, or especially during the summer.
“My agent, I talk to him on the phone almost every day. Next up, sponsors-I’m doing a session with UnderArmour today. I have been with them for over seven years. I am very lucky to have partners who have been with me for a long time and who believe in me. »