At Almaty airport, an airline representative refused to let him board with the suitcase containing the large globe won as the overall champion of the Moguls World Cup season that ended finished on Saturday in Kazakhstan. He therefore slipped the object into his backpack.
There remained the two smallest suitcases containing the globes of the singles and parallel events. The athlete from Deux-Montagnes kept one and gave the other to a trainer. His boots left in the baggage compartment, once is not custom.
The 30-year-old skier must now fit the 24 globes won since 2012. The majority are still at the family residence in Deux-Montagnes. Six others are at his new home in Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, where he settled with his girlfriend some time ago.
“Eventually they will all come here. The classic question that comes up is, “Where are you going to put all this? You won’t have any more space…” It’s true that I will have to find a new piece of furniture or have one made for myself because the one I have is full. I haven’t taken the time to think about it yet. »
He will have to be far-sighted because he has no intention of stopping. “The world may think I’m going to slow down, but on the contrary, I feel like I’m continuing to be better,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.
Kingsbury points to the 1,002 points accumulated over the course of the World Cup campaign, the fourth time he has reached this milestone. Obviously, he is the only one to have achieved such a feat in his sport.
“For us, it’s like a 200-point season in hockey,” he laughed to compare, no doubt knowing that the illustrious Wayne Gretzky also achieved it four times.
Mathematically, he’s already done a bit better – 1180 points with one more start in 2012 – but he’s willing to agree that it was probably the best season of his career taking into account his two gold medals at the World Championships. world in Georgia.
“Every time I think it’s my best because I think I’m a better skier. The caliber is even stronger. More guys could compete at all races. To win is more difficult. I have been consistent. I continued to dominate and win the globes unequivocally. »
In addition to his third consecutive Worlds double, he has won six World Cups and finished second five times…
The only anomaly is a 29th place in the Alpe d’Huez parallel event in December, his worst result since 2011. In the round of 32, he crashed on the approach to the second jump.
“I lost my breath, but I got up and was okay. I was disappointed at the time, but mentally, it didn’t affect me at all. If so, that motivated me. Maybe it was a good thing because it gave me the momentum I needed to continue the year. »
The hard worker reviewed his arrival on the coaches’ tablet, but took care to delete it…
Among his main rivals who have heated him, he cites the inevitable Japanese Ikuma Horishima (2nd at 660 points), the Australian friend Matt Graham, the young American Nick Page, the explosive Frenchman Benjamin Cavet and, of course, the Swedish Walter Wallberg, who deprived him of a second Olympic gold medal in Beijing. “Just make the super final, you have to be strong and you have to do it weekend after weekend. This is what is difficult. »
Due to the quack of Alpe d’Huez, the great Wallberg has heated him all season in a duel. In Val-Saint-Côme, the Quebecer wanted to “take him off the track” in the final, which caused his own loss. He got revenge at Deer Valley and Bakuriani Worlds.
“At the world championships, it was a bit of a little revenge for the Olympiques. This made me the most happy. The rest was a guy I had to beat like the others. I appreciate Walter. I get along really well with him. »
Kingsbury therefore believe they can be better next season. First because of his experience: “I’ve been through pretty much every possible scenario. It is rare that I find myself in front of the unknown. »
Then because he thinks he is improving technically, like landing his 1080 on less steep runways. “There are plenty of other things like the position of my hips, but I prefer not to go into details because I don’t want the world to know exactly what I’m going to do. »
For the honor, Kingsbury will take part in the Canadian championships this weekend in Val-Saint-Côme.
The first training is scheduled for Thursday, but the double world champion does not yet know if he will be able to take part: his skis, boots and suitcases were lost during a match in Istanbul…
Mikaël Kingsbury weighs his words, but he does not hide that the motivation is non-existent for the Canadian championships, which he missed last year due to a COVID-19 infection. The lack of scholarships contributes to this apathy as he and his teammates try to recover from the 10-hour time difference with Kazakhstan, from which he returned on Sunday.
“It’s a bit of a shame because the guys are at the end of the season, especially me,” he explained. I gave everything during the winter and there I arrive at the Canadian championships. It’s fun to ski with young people, it’s close to my heart. I know the feeling of skiing with the best Canadians, your idols. But if there are no scholarships, I have more to lose than to gain. If I don’t win, it’s a little pocket. I still have to concentrate and I can’t take it lightly. My teammates are excellent skiers. »
The triple Olympic medalist proposes to postpone the event for a week or two and to add a financial incentive. “I could just drive four hours and go to Waterville Valley [in New Hampshire] and make a lot of money,” he noted. Everywhere else in the world there are scholarships. »
Instead, Kingsbury will settle for a ‘pat on the back’ if they win on Saturday (singles) and Sunday (parallel).