Weekend Roundup: Kingsbury kicks off his season with gold, Crawford collects breakthrough bronze
Medals, medals everywhere!
It was season-opening weekend on several World Cup circuits and many Team Canada athletes got started the same way they finished off last season — on the podium. The GOAT of moguls added to his record-setting resumé, two aerialists flipped their way to medals, and Eliot Grondin maintained his momentum in snowboard cross.
Take a look back at all the success:
Moguls: New season, same result for the King 👑
For the 10th time in his career, Mikaël Kingsbury stood atop the podium in Ruka, Finland at the first moguls stop of the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup circuit. The king recorded a score of 84.50 points in the six-man super final to clinch his 75th career World Cup victory.
Gabriel Dufresne participated in the first round of the final, finishing in 11th place.
Aerials: Two Canadians flip & twist to the podium 🎿
After the moguls competition wrapped, it was time for the aerialists to get their season going in Ruka. Marion Thénault earned 90.59 points for the silver medal in the women’s event. That is her fourth career World Cup podium. Flavie Aumond also reached the final. finishing 10th.
In the men’s competition, Lewis Irving secured the bronze medal with 109.29 points. That was his seventh career World Cup podium, but his first since March 2021. He was one of five Canadians in the 12-man final, which also saw Alexandre Duchaine place fourth for his career-best result and Émile Nadeau finish seventh.
Alpine Skiing: Crawford takes downhill bronze ✨
Jack Crawford reached the World Cup podium in downhill for the first time in his career on Saturday, claiming the bronze medal in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Crawford’s time of 1 minute 42.88 seconds put him 0.01 ahead of fourth-place finisher Matthias Mayer of Austria.
Crawford was also the top Canadian in Sunday’s super-G, finishing 11th. He had won his first ever World Cup medal in super-G in March after winning Olympic bronze in the alpine combined at Beijing 2022.
The women were back on Canadian snow at Lake Louise where Marie-Michèle Gagnon finished eighth in Sunday’s super-G, 0.57 of a second back of the podium.
Snowboard Cross: Grondin races to bronze 🏂
After being delayed by a few weeks, the snowboard cross World Cup season finally started in Les Deux Alpes, France. Two-time Olympic medallist Eliot Grondin got himself right back onto the podium, winning the bronze medal.
The top Canadian in the women’s event was Audrey McManiman who finished 11th after being eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Skeleton: First gold in three years for Rahneva 💨
Mirela Rahneva won gold in women’s skeleton at the IBSF World Cup in Park City, Utah on Thursday. The 34-year-old took the lead after the first run with a track record time of 49.12 seconds. Despite a slightly slower second run, it was enough to earn her first victory since February 2019. It was the first time a Canadian woman had won at Park City since February 2009.
Bobsleigh: Appiah makes it 2-for-2 in monobob 🛷
One week after winning World Cup silver, Cynthia Appiah was back on the podium when she captured monobob bronze in Park City, Utah. After the two runs, she finished just 0.02 of a second out of second place.
Bianca Ribi, who won last week in Whistler, finished seventh in monobob. On Saturday, Ribi and brakewoman Niamh Haughey finished fifth in two-woman, two spots ahead of Appiah and Leah Walkeden. Taylor Austin piloted his two-man and four-man sleds to ninth place finishes in both events.
Biathlon: Fabulous 4th for Lunder in Finland 👍
Emma Lunder secured the best two results of her career at the first IBU World Cup of the season in Kontiolahti, Finland. She finished fourth in the 7.5km sprint on Saturday, coming just 1.2 seconds shy of her first World Cup medal after shooting two clean rounds.
That set her up well for Sunday’s 10km pursuit, in which the start order is based on the results of the sprint. She had just one miss through four rounds of shooting and ended up in fifth place.
Ski jumping: Career best result for Strate 🙌
Abigail Strate had the best World Cup result by any Canadian ski jumper in seven years when she finished fourth in the women’s individual normal hill in Lillehammer, Norway on Saturday. Strate had ranked second in the qualification round but came just 2.8 points shy of the podium in the final.
She followed up on Sunday by placing third in the qualification round for the individual large hill but was unfortunately able to hold the landing on her first jump in the final.
Long Track Speed Skating: Lots of medals for Team Canada 🔥
It was a great weekend at home in Quebec City for the ISU Four Continents Speed Skating Championships. Team Canada collected a grand total of 14 medals during the competition. True to form, Laurent Dubreuil was solid in front of his Canadian supporters. He scored a hat trick of gold medals in the 500m, 1000m, and team sprint events.
Valérie Maltais also won three races: gold in the 3000m, mass start, and team pursuit. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu is another Olympian who performed well. He won the 1500m and took home silver in the team pursuit.
Track cycling: More medals at Champions League 🚴
The UCI Track Champions League concluded with the last two stages in London. On Friday, Kelsey Mitchell won the silver medal in the women’s keirin, Mathias Guillemette claimed silver in the men’s elimination race, Dylan Bibic finished third in the men’s scratch race, and Maggie Coles-Lyster took third in the women’s elimination race.
On Saturday, Mitchell won silver in the women’s sprint and Coles-Lyster posted the same result in the elimination race. Sarah Van Dam also joined the podium with a silver medal in the women’s scratch.
In the general classification, Mitchell finished second overall in women’s sprint while Guillemette finished fifth in the endurance events.
Judo: Gauthier-Drapeau close to the podium 🥋
François Gauthier-Drapeau finished fifth in the men’s 81kg category at the IJF Grand Slam in Tokyo, Japan. The journey to get there was not easy, with three of the Canadian judoka’s five bouts requiring golden score time.
Sent to the repechage, he earned his way into a bronze medal match, but then lost to Japan’s Sotaro Fujiwara after receiving his third shido. The top Canadian woman in Tokyo was Kelly Deguchi who finished seventh in the 52kg event.