Canadian Mogul Skiers earn medals

The Canadian team earned three medals here today at the first of two FIS single mogul World Cups. Olympic Champions Alex Bilodeau and Jenn Heil both took silver in their respective divisions and Quebec City’s Audrey Robichaud earned her first World Cup medal, finishing the day in third.

Bilodeau, who won last weekend’s Canada Post Grand Prix at Ski Mont Gabriel, said that after a rocky start to the season he is now hitting his stride. “I’m skiing well and my head is in the right place. I’m trying to ski the way I can, I don’t need to win by two points, I just need to ski my best.”

The Rosemère, Quebec native, who was the fastest competitor by more than half a second, said “I let it go a bit too much in finals and made a couple of small technical mistakes. I need to focus on not giving the judges any place to take points away.”

France’s Guilbaut Colas was the winner with a score of 25.81, Bilodeau scored 25.59 and Jeremy Cota of the USA was third at 25.31.

Other Canadians in the 12-man final were Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, Que.) who is in his rookie season and finished 7th with a score of 23.80; and team veteran Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau (Drummondville, Que.) was 10th at 21.51.

Canadians who did not make the final included teen sensation Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux Montagnes, Que.) who did not finish his run after an equipment malfunction caused him to lose a ski before the top jump. Cédric Rochon (St. Sauveur, Que.) was 14th at 22.38 and Eddie Hicks (Langley, B.C.) was 38th at 10.79.

In the women’s division, overall points leader and 2010 Olympic Champion Hannah Kearney of the USA was the winner at 25.45, maintaining her lead in the overall points standings.

Spruce Grove Alberta’s Heil posted the fastest woman’s time of the day and scored 24.72. She said, “I never explicitly work on just speed, but I have been working really hard on my turns this week and I felt like I’ve been able to re-establish the quickness of my turns.” Heil, who now lives in Montreal, said, “For tomorrow I’m going to work on making my overall package sharper.”

For her part, Robichaud was ecstatic to land on the podium with the day’s highest air points and a total score of 24.41. After qualifying in 12th position Robichaud said, “The thing is, I had nothing to lose, so I just went for it,” adding, “For sure this podium will give me a lot of energy. I finally got to taste the podium and it feels crazy good.”

Montreal sisters Chloé and Justine Dufour-Lapointe both made costly mistakes in their finals runs after their top jumps. They finished in 11th and 12th spots, with respective scores of 16.35 and 9.45.

Canadian women who did not make finals were Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, Que.), 16th at 20.33 and Chelsea Henitiuk (Spruce Grove, Alta), 19th at 19.89.

World Cup mogul action continues here tomorrow with another single mogul event.