When the king resigns – a review on Bilodeau's career
More than one month has gone by since Alex Bilodeau won the last dual moguls event of the 2014 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season in La Plagne, France, in style and thus ended his career with a final flourish.
Time for us to look back on an extraordinary career which stretches back to the 2005-6 season, where he claimed his first career World Cup win in only his third event, on home soil in Mont Gabriel, CAN.
Since then, the 26-year-old Rosemere, Que., freestyler has amassed 48 World Cup podiums with 19 of those podiums coming as victories, breaking freestyle legend Jean-Luc Brassard's record for World Cup podium finishes with his last race.
"I never looked at the number of podiums," he said. "For me it was a day-to-day process of trying to be the best in the world.
Records are made to be broken. I'm sure it won't last long. Mikael [Kingsbury] will break it in a year or two."
However, there are a few things no one can take away from this living freestyle legend.
In the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver Alex claimed not just the first gold medal of the Games for the host nation, but also the first ever gold medal for a Canadian on home soil, in a masterful performance that seemed to spark his country to its best-ever Winter Olympic showing.
Four years later at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the three-time dual moguls World Champion, whose lifetime World Championships medal count is five, did what no freestyle skiing athlete had done before and defended his gold medal in a masterful performance.
And his last performance ned of March 2014 was a masterful as his runs at Sochi.
Going into the finals, Montreal's 'Mogul of the Moguls' had no chance to catch Kingsbury for the Crystal Globe as overall champion, but wanted to push his friend and rival to the limit in the last race of his career.
Kingsbury got down the hill quicker, but the judges gave the gold medal to Bilodeau on execution.
"I knew the grand prix was done and I couldn't go up or down," said Bilodeau. "I looked at Mikael and said 'I'm really honoured to have my last run against the best in the world.'
I said 'I'll just enjoy it.' I decided to do a back double, which is something you don't do in duals. It's too risky. But I thought 'it's my last race, I'm going to go for it.' "