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Kingsbury wraps up record-breaking season

Freestyle team wins four more medals, Nations Cup



Quebec's Mikail Kingsbury wrapped up the 2011-2012 World Cup mogul season in style on Sunday with a silver medal at the dual moguls competition in Megeve, France. He'd already clinched the overall title almost a full month earlier on the strength of a season where he didn't miss a single podium. From December through March he racked up eight gold medals, four silver medals and a bronze. The closest thing he had to a slump was at the end of the season where he went three weeks without a win. Not bad for a 19 year old in his second year on the World Cup circuit.

In the process he set several records. He has the most podiums in a season for a male mogul skier and he's only the second male skier to podium at every event. He's the youngest skier to win a Crystal Globe, and tied the record for consecutive World Cup wins at six.

"When I received the globe it was like, kind of like an Olympic medal or the best moment for me in sports," said Kingsbury. "I want to say thanks to my coach Rob (Kober) for the season that we did together, he helped me and we have a very good connection together.

"And to my teammates, too, they pushed me all season. They skied great, they were with me almost all of the time on the podium so it was fun to share with all those guys, and they're kind of responsible too for my Globe because they helped me a lot."

Third at Megeve was Marc-Antoine Gagnon, earning his first podium after his bronze medal duel against Whistler's Eddie Hicks. Hicks's fourth place finish was his best result this season. Cedric Rochon was seventh and Philippe Marquis ninth, giving Canada five athletes in the top 10.

In the women's competition the big story was Justine Dufour-Lapointe taking the win, her first this year, after edging past Miki Ito of Japan. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe won the small final over Ekaterina Stolyarova of Russia to give Canada four medals on the day. Audrey Robichaud was ninth, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe 14th and Chelsea Henitiuk 17th.

"I'm really stoked that I finished with a gold medal this year, I can't be more happy about my season," said Justine Dufour-Lapointe. "It's been amazing this year."

In the aerials finals, Olivier Rochon finished well back of the podium in ninth place but that was good enough to take the overall men's title, with China's Zongyang Jia also struggling and placing 15th on the day.

Jean-Christophe Andre was the top Canadian, in sixth place.

"It was a pretty good day, I didn't do maybe the best jumps and I made a little mistake on my landing in finals but I'm so happy to finish the season on a good note," said Andre.

For Rochon, the pressure was off the moment he qualified for the semi-finals, guaranteeing himself enough points to win the Crystal Globe no matter what happened that day.

"Actually, I was pretty nervous this morning, it felt like my first jump of the season, but I compete well under pressure," said Rochon. "And after that first jump I knew the hardest part was done. But we had two plans today: get enough points to get the Globe and maybe get a podium. I'm happy of course, but kind of feel uncompleted because I didn't podium."

Rochon, who was benched last season for breaking the team's code of conduct, finished with five medals including a gold and two silvers.

Next up are the freestyle nationals for moguls and aerials, which take place at Val St. Come, Quebec from March 23 to 25.

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