Mikael Kingsbury lifts his ski poles and skis above his head in celebration.

Best of 2021: Canadians shine in freestyle skiing and snowboard

Our Best of 2021 series recaps the incredible performances by Canadian athletes over the past year. Check out the full list here.

Team Canada is flush with talent in freestyle skiing and snowboard and that was especially apparent throughout 2021.

From the X Games to the FIS World Championships, Canadian athletes were all over the podiums. 

Here is a quick look back at some of the standout performances on snow:

After sustaining the first major injury of his career at the start of the 2020-21 season, we didn’t know quite what to expect when Mikaël Kingsbury came back to competition. But the moguls GOAT didn’t disappoint, successfully defending his world titles in moguls and dual moguls.

Mikaël Kingsbury takes a bite of his two gold medals.
Mikaël Kingsbury takes a bite of his gold medals after defending his dual moguls world championship title on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Credit: Andrey Kulagin/FIS)

READ: Mikaël Kingsbury defends moguls world championship title

READ: Kingsbury wins dual moguls title at worlds in Almaty

Megan Oldham rose to the occasion in 2021, picking up two X Games medals as well as her first world championship medal – all before her 20th birthday.

READ: X Games: Team Canada reaches four podiums on opening day in Aspen

The fun in Aspen started with her ski big air silver at the X Games. A day later, Oldham added a ski slopestyle bronze. In March she won world championship bronze in slopestyle.  

Megan Oldham mid-air during a run for the women's ski big air competition at the X Games.
Aspen, CO – January 29, 2021 – Buttermilk Mountain: Megan Oldham competing in Women’s Ski Big Air during X Games Aspen 2021 (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

READ: X Games: Megan Oldham captures a second medal in Aspen

READ: Megan Oldham takes slopestyle bronze for first career world championship medal in Aspen

There were three other skiing medals won by Canadians at the X Games. Cassie Sharpe and Rachael Karker shared the superpipe podium with their silver and bronze medals while Evan McEachran won his own slopestyle bronze.

READ: Evan McEachran takes slopestyle bronze at Aspen X Games

Karker also won her first world championship medal as she took silver in the halfpipe. Simon d’Artois matched that result in the men’s ski halfpipe while Édouard Therriault had a breakout moment with his ski big air silver at the worlds.

Laurie Blouin holds up her medal and hugs her snowboard at the X Games.
Aspen, CO – January 29, 2021 – Buttermilk Mountain: Laurie Blouin at the medal ceremony for Jeep Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle during X Games Aspen 2021 (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

READ: Toutant, Karker and d’Artois win first career world championship medals

Meanwhile in snowboard, Olympic medallists Mark McMorris, Max Parrot, Laurie Blouin and Sébastien Toutant each added to their resumes. Blouin claimed a slopestyle bronze at the X Games, while unfortunately McMorris and Parrot had to withdraw. But they more than made up for it at the world championships.

READ: McMorris and Blouin win big air gold on final day of worlds

Blouin and McMorris swept the gold medals in the snowboard big air event while Parrot joined McMorris on the podium in second place.

It’s hard to believe it took until 2021 for Toutant to earn his first world championship medal, but he did that with his slopestyle silver. Rounding out the podium performances was Eliot Grondin, who also won his first worlds medal before his 20th birthday as he took bronze in snowboard cross.

READ: Eliot Grondin captures bronze at snowboard cross world championships

Team Canada will certainly field deep rosters in freestyle skiing and snowboard at Beijing 2022. In some disciplines, the toughest part might be just making it onto the team! But you can bet that you’ll be watching some of the athletes who starred in 2021 do their best to help Team Canada achieve another record medal haul.