Canadians dominate moguls again
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia — Four years ago, Canada’s Alex Bilodeau stole the show.
He won Canada’s first gold medal on home soil, sharing the moment with his brother Fred, who has cerebral palsy.
But after Saturday night’s performance from Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, where the two took first and second in women’s moguls, it was hard to imagine Bilodeau creating a bigger spotlight.
Well, he did it.
Bilodeau put down the slickest run of the night Monday, taking the men’s moguls finals and becoming the first freestyle athlete in history to win two gold medals.
Countryman Mikael Kingsbury was second, and Russian Alexandr Smyshlyaev was third.
“I’m glad to finish my last Olympics like this,” Bilodeau said. “It’s going to be a great retirement. The future of freestyle skiing in Canada is not done. There is so many good kids coming up, and I am so glad to share a podium with one of them.”
That’s a scary thought. Canada has dominated moguls at these games, winning four of a possible six medals. It’s helped Canada take its first lead in the medal count.
“It’s crazy,” Kingsbury said. “I was going for gold, but just to be on the podium is crazy and I am with my teammate. It’s just unbelievable.”
American Pat Deneen qualified for the super finals, but finished sixth.
Deneen, who trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club for a year, had a long night.
He veered out of the course in his opening run and had to make the second qualifier.
Eventually, he was the sixth and the final qualifier for super finals.
“I came for a medal,” Deneen said. “It wasn’t my night. I was skiing well, but my finals run I didn’t ski up to my potential.”
Deneen had the fastest time down the course, but his trick set was well below that of the other five skiers.
He threw a cork 1080 on the top air — the first he’s landed in competition — and a back X on the bottom.
The two tricks earned him a jump score of 4.4. That was well short of the 6.91 Bilodeau earned and the 6.62 Kingsbury did.
Deneen said he has a cork 720 he can throw at the bottom air but chose to go with the safer route in finals.
“This course got a little weird so I wanted to be pretty safe going into the bottom air and that’s why I chose the back X,” he said.
The other American skier, Bradley Wilson, made the initial field of 20 skiers but fell on his top air and finished 20th.
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