Penticton freestyle skier Andi Naude landed on the podium in the last World Cup event before she heads to the Pyeongchang 2019 Olympic Winter Games.
“I’m thrilled to be on the podium today right before the Games. I think this was one of the most enjoyable competition days I’ve ever had. I was able to do my back full on the top air and that jump was fun because we had to approach it as fast as possible and go as big as possible. I liked pushing my limits,” said Naude, who now has been on the podium three times this season. “Going into the Games with a second-place finish and sharing the podium with my teammate is more than I could have hoped for. I’m really excited to go to Pyeongchang with this result in my pocket.”
On home snow in Tremblant, Que., the Canadian freestyle team had a strong performance in front to an enthusiastic crowd. Canada qualified six women and four men in the 16-skier finals. Justine Dufour-Lapointe emerged as the winner on the women’s side scoring 87.43, sharing the podium with Naude who scored 85.35 and third place finisher Yulia Galysheva (KAZ) who scored a 84.61.
It was Dufour-Lapointe’s first victory of the season while Naude kept her streak alive of making it through to every super final so far this season. Naude is second in the moguls World Cup standings with 436 points. U.S. skier Jaelin Kauf leads with 436 points and third place is just behind Naude with 382 points. There is four more competitions left in the World Cup season.
Canada’s “King of Moguls” Mikael Kingsbury was on the hunt for his 14th consecutive victory but was edged out by Japanese competitor Ikuma Horishima by 0.61.
“We had a great day, I skied my best but Ikuma did a run that I couldn’t beat. I made a tiny error before the bottom jump, and the jump wasn’t my best, and he is completely deserving of his win,” said Kingsbury, who wasn’t disappointed with his day. “I was consistent today, again, I have nothing to feel bad about. My performance was fantastic and I feel like I’m in a good position going into the Olympics.”
This was the last competition before the athletes leave for the Games where qualifications will take place on Feb. 9 with the ladies final on Feb. 11 and the mens on Feb. 12.