Mikael Kingsbury is going downhill, fast.
Which just means more wins for Canada’s king of the moguls.
The Deux-Montagnes, Que., native earned his 13th straight gold medal on Thursday to complete the sweep at the World Cup in Deer Valley, Utah.
It was also his 48th first-place finish of his career, the most of any freestyle skier in history.
Kingsbury scored 88.80 points in the final, well clear of Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Reikherd in second (83.66) and Australia’s Matt Graham in third (82.37).
“I can tell you that this course is one of the hardest in the world and to ski under 26 seconds it’s quite an accomplishment and it’s very fast,” Kingsbury said. “But yeah, the guys were all pushing the limits so I had to push and bring out the best side of me and I was able to.”
Thursday’s win was Kingsbury’s ninth at Deer Valley in 14 events there since 2012. He also has three second-place finishes in Park City.
Kingsbury swept the moguls and dual moguls competitions at Deer Valley last February and hasn’t lost a World Cup since. His last second-place performance came in Calgary on Jan. 28, 2017.
“I’m happy with the results here,” Kingsbury said. “The track here is challenging both mentally and physically. This gives me confidence for the Olympics. To be able to perform under pressure like I did this week, it feels like a very good learning experience.”
The final moguls World Cup before the Olympics is scheduled for Jan. 20 at Mont-Tremblant, Que., about an hour’s drive from Kingsbury’s hometown.
“It is different to ski in front of friends and family members. They are used to certain results from me,” Kingsbury said. “I want to do well, but it is a new track. I have no expectations. I’m already having an incredible season.
“The important thing for me will be not to overdo it. I need to save some energy for the pre-Olympics camp and the Games themselves. Deer Valley was an important event because the track is difficult. It is also similar to what we will get in Pyeongchang, and I did a good job there.”
Earlier in the day, Canada’s Philippe Marquis, another moguls skier, announced on Instagram that he had torn his right ACL in training for the event on Monday.
Marquis is still hopeful of representing Canada at the Olympics in February.
Naude finishes 5th
Andi Naude was the top Canadian woman, finishing fifth and improving one spot on her previous night’s performance.
Jaelin Kauf of the U.S. won gold with a score of 81.37, almost one point ahead of silver medallist Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont (80.38). American Morgan Schild finished third at 78.76.
Naude, the Penticton B.C., native clocked in at 77.62. She’s won two bronze medals and finished in the top six at each of her competitions this year.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe finished eighth, while sister Chloe was 14th.