There are a lot of famous streaks in professional sports — Wayne Gretzky's 51 consecutive games with a point, Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak, Lance Armstrong's seven consecutive Tour de France wins — and American Mogul skier Hannah Kearney's 16-consecutive win streak in World Cup moguls (plus an Olympic title) deserves a place among them.
That streak came to an end on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Naeba, Japan, with Canada's Audrey Robichaud besting Kearney in the dual moguls semi-finals competition then going on to defeat Aiko Uemura of Japan in the finals. It was Robichaud's first career victory and her fourth medal performance, with the third coming just one day earlier with a silver medal behind Kearney in the single moguls competition.
"I can't believe it myself," said Robichaud. "I was actually pretty nervous in the gate against Hannah. Marc (coach Marc-Andre Moreau) told me to be the first out of the gate, so that's what I did. I really don't know what happened next, I got to the bottom and was happy I skied strong, then I heard that I beat her. Later I heard that she made a little mistake in her run."
Kearney went on to the small final where she lost her dual against Japan's Miki Ito, finishing off the podium for the first time since January 2011.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe was fifth, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe ninth, Whistler's Chelsea Henitiuk 12th, Alexandra Dufresne 15th, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe 22nd and Beatrice Bilodeau 24th.
In the previous day's single moguls competition it was Kearney, Robichaud and Justine-Dufour Lapointe on the podium, with Chloe Dufour-Lapointe also making the super final to place fourth. Chelsea Henitiuk was 12th, Alexandra Dufresne 21st, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe 22nd and Beatrice Bilodeau 24th.
On the men's side, the team added another four medals to bring the total medal haul to seven on the weekend out of a possible 12.
In single moguls, Mikael Kingsbury picked up his eighth victory in nine events with a gold medal, followed by American skier Jeremy Cota. Cedric Rochon won the bronze medal for Canada, while Philippe Marquis was fifth, Marc-Antoine Gagnon 12th and Eddie Hicks 15th.
In the dual moguls, American Patrick Deneen bested Kingsbury in the finals, while Philippe Marquis edged out American Bradley Wilson for the bronze medal. Whistler skier Eddie Hicks, who is usually stronger in single moguls, had a sixth place result, followed by teammate Marc-Antoine Gagnon in seventh. Cedric Rochon was 13th.
"I made some mistakes just before my bottom air on my finals run. We were going pretty fast and I saw Patrick out of the corner of my eye so I pushed it just a little too hard," said Kingsbury. "But I heard it was pretty close."
Marquis also celebrated his third podium of the season. The team has been touring since January and after 10 events — and a new format for single moguls that means extra runs in single moguls for the top four skiers making the super final — Marquis said he was feeling it. "I was so tired, a month of travelling," he said. "When I got to the small final against Wilson I hoped I didn't do two extra runs for nothing, so I took all the energy I had left and pushed it."
In aerials, taking place in Austria, Olivier Rochon had his worst finish since the start of the 2010-2011 season with a 14th place. He landed his jump, but a backslap put him out of the finals.
The win went to Scotty Bahrke of the U.S., followed by Maxim Gustik of Belarus and Dylan Ferguson of the U.S.
Despite the result Rochon continues to lead in the overall standings and even gained a little with Zongyang Jia of China not attending the event.