Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Race for Berths on Canada's Olympic Men's Moguls Team Is a Tight One

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Race for Berths on Canada's Olympic Men's Moguls Team Is a Tight One

Article excerpt

Calgary World Cup races key for moguls team


CALGARY - The race is on for spots on Canada's freestyle team for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and nowhere is jostling more intense than in men's moguls.

Canada can take a maximum of four men to the moguls races in Sochi, Russia, just over a year from now.

Five Canadian men finished in the top-10 on the World Cup last season and reigning Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau has returned to racing full time after a partial hiatus.

"We're the strongest team in the world in moguls on the men's side," says Mikael Kingsbury, the defending World Cup champion.

"It's pretty hard to qualify. There are some athletes who will be in the top 10 in the world on our team who probably won't be able to go to the Olympics."

The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association designated five competitions, starting with last week's World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., where athletes can gather results for early nomination to Olympic team.

Saturday's World Cup stop in Calgary is the second of those events.

Kingsbury got a head start on a ticket to Sochi with a win in Lake Placid.

The 20-year-old star from Deux-Montagnes, Que., can extend his streak of consecutive World Cup podiums to 18 in Calgary, where he's the two-time defending champion.

"It's a good place for me," Kingsbury says. "I have good memories here and I can't wait to compete this weekend."

He and Bilodeau, from Rosemere, Que., are currently ranked first and second respectively in the World Cup men's moguls standings.

"Mik has been pushing me every day I'm on the slopes, whether it's training or competition," Bilodeau says.

Bilodeau won Canada's first gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

The 25-year-old raced only a few World Cups in North America last season to both devote more time to his accounting degree at Concordia University and reduce wear and tear on his body. …

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