SPORTS

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury on verge of setting World Cup freestyle skiing record

03/13/2015 06:17 EDT | Updated 05/13/2015 05:59 EDT
Canadian freestyle skier Mikael Kingsbury is on the verge of making history — and he knows that even failure this weekend won't prevent him from achieving his goal at some point.

Going into Sunday's World Cup moguls event in Megeve, France, the native of Deux-Montagnes, Que., is tied with France's Edgar Grospiron on the all-time list with 28 victories.

Kingsbury's dual moguls win in Tazawako two weeks ago was his record seventh straight World Cup moguls title and came in his 60th race, while it took Grospiron about 20 more events to hit the milestone.

''It's something that's pretty big,'' Kingsbury, 22, told The Canadian Press. ''Just on Friday, I saw Edgar Grospiron and I was able to speak with him a bit.

''I don't want to just concentrate on victory. If I do the things I have to do, I know I can do it. It won't be easy. It's a course where a lot of skiers are very fast.

''I'm aware I can do it but I know it will happen before the end of my career. So I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. I just want to be able to have fun and give everything I have.''

Grospiron's record has stood since 1995.

Grospiron, who won bronze at the Calgary Olympics in 1988, gold in Albertville in 1992 and bronze two years later in Lillehammer, congratulated Kingsbury in a video posted online this week.

''He's a strong guy, that one,'' said Grospiron, who will turn 46 on Tuesday. ''When you start your career, and you look at the record in terms of World Cup victories, you can think it's impossible. But this Kingsbury guy makes the impossible possible.

''I take my hat off to him. I'm impressed.''

So is Canadian coach Rob Kober.

''Edgar's record has stood for 20 years and the fact that Mik has equalled it at such a young age is incredible because our sport is incredibly hard to be consistent at,'' he said in an email.

''Mik has achieved a level of consistency in mogul skiing that no one else even comes close to. I've heard Mik called the 'Gretzky' of mogul skiing and that is a fair comparison. He came along at World Cup mogul skiing at a young age and immediately started achieving levels of performance and consistency that we had not seen before.

''Mik is already in the mix for greatest male mogul skier ever along with Edgar, Jean-Luc Brassard, Janne Lathela and Alex Bilodeau.''

Kingsbury also won the Tazawako single moguls event, clinching the Crystal Globe awarded to the FIS moguls points leader. With the dual moguls victory, he solidified his chance at winning the FIS overall points title. Kingsbury has 91.13 overall points, with China's Qi Guangpu second with 73.33 points in aerials.

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