Calgary moguls to welcome the New Year for Freestyle World Cup

30 December 2014 04:20
Philippe Marquis (CAN) in action at last year's Calgary MO
Philippe Marquis (CAN) in action at last year's Calgary MO -

CALGARY, CAN – The first FIS Freestyle event of 2015 gets underway with training this week ahead of Saturday's moguls World Cup in Calgary, Canada.

Calgary's Canada Olympic Park (COP) has been a host venue on the World Cup tour dating all the way back to 1987, when it held test events ahead of the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Located about 25 minutes from downtown Calgary, COP boast a full range of Freestyle facilities mere kilometers from one of Canada's most booming metropolises.

Five of the six Sochi 2014 moguls medalists claimed podiums at last season's Calgary event, with Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) scoring her first win of 2013/14 on the COP slope, followed by Hannah Kearney (USA) and middle Dufour-Lapointe sister Chloe. On the men's side, it was Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) taking the second of what would become five 2013/14 wins, followed by teammate Alex Bilodeau and Patrick Deneen (USA). Sochi men's bronze medalist Alexandr Smyshlyaev (RUS), came fourth.

Just over two weeks ago, at the first moguls World Cup of the 2014/15 season in Ruka, Finland, we saw sophomore World Cup winners on both the ladies' and men's side, as Yulia Galysheva (KAZ) and Philippe Marquis (CAN) rose to the occasion in a dual moguls competition that saw some of the traditional favourites bow out in the intense head-to-head skiing.

Last season's fifth-ranked mogulist, Galysheva was able to edge 2013/14 moguls and freestyle overall crystal globe winner Kearney in her semifinal heat before taking down Chloe Dufour-Lapointe on her way to an impressive early-season win.

While Dufour-Lapointe and Kearney settled for second and third, respectively, it was somewhat surprising to see Sochi gold medallist Justine bounced by teammate Audrey Robichaud (CAN) in their quarter final heat, relegating Justine to a fifth place finish.

On the men's side there were some even bigger surprises in Ruka, as, first, last year's third-ranked moguls skier Deneen lost in his round of 32 heat, and then was quickly followed out by the typically indomitable Kingsbury in the round of 16.

On his way to victory, Marquis was able to take out Smyshlyaev and upstart Thomas Rowley (USA), before edging Endo in a hotly contested dual that saw the Canadian actually finish in a slower time than the Japanese skier, but take the win based on fractionally better judges scores.

Training for this season's edition of the Calgary moguls World Cup happening on Jan 1-2, with qualification and finals slated to take place on Saturday, Jan 3.


Find the 2014/15 moguls World Cup leaderboard HERE

Photos from last season's Calgary event can be found HERE