Kingsbury, Kearney retain World Cup moguls titles
LA PLAGNE, France (AP) Mikael Kingsbury of Canada and Hannah Kearney of the United States retained their freestyle World Cup moguls titles in the last event of the season on Friday.
Kearney beat Olympic silver medalist Chloe Dufour-Lapointe in the women’s dual moguls final in France to win her fifth World Cup discipline title.
”It’s definitely a wonderful reward for what was an emotional season,” Kearney said. ”The title has never been this close. It’s never come down to the final competition. I actually had a nightmare a few nights ago that I lost, so I’m glad that did not come true.”
Kearney secured the lead in the overall standings when Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe crashed in the round of 16.
”I blew my knee out here in 2007,” Kearney said. ”I lost my first dual here in 2009, so this course hasn’t been that lucky for me. It was nice to be able to undo that. I also had my whole family here, so that made it all more meaningful.”
Kearney finished third at the Sochi Olympics.
”My overall feeling of the season was incredibly frustrating,” Kearney said. ”I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I was no longer as consistent as I’ve been in the past. Obviously the Olympics were a heartbreaker, but I’ve been able to enjoy many other parts of the season.”
Kingsbury lost to Olympic champion Alex Bilodeau in the men’s dual moguls final but still finished ahead of his compatriot in the discipline standings. Kingsbury won his third moguls crystal globe.
”I had a lot of pressure,” Kingsbury said. ”I made it to the final and then the pressure dropped when I was against Alex. I knew I had the globe. I skied my best during the final, but I was very happy that Alex won.”
Kingsbury was the runner-up at the Sochi Olympics behind Bilodeau, who competed in his last World Cup event and is retiring this season.
”To end my career on a victory today in France is outstanding,” Bilodeau said. ”My career started in Tignes, France, and ends at La Plagne on a good note. It’s a bonus.”
Bilodeau earned his 19th World Cup victory.