When the tennis player Bianca Andreescu has won the International tennis of the United States in September last year, the Quebecer Mikaël Kingsbury commended her as only he could do.
“Yo, Bianca Andreescu, no matter when you want to come take the Marsh, I have in Montreal. It is all yours, now!”, he wrote on Twitter.
This wink-filled comedy had naturally experienced a “buzz” on the web. Now, in 2020, one has the impression that office workers could reciprocate in the month of April.
With the suspension of sports competitions and the deferral of the olympic Games in Tokyo due to the pandemic of sars coronavirus, force is to admit that the freestyle skier has indeed taken a serious option on this trophy since 1936, the athlete of the year in Canada. However, this is not the main person who will rejoice in it.
“We will see when the sport will take over, he said, in a generous phone interview. I have no control over that. Personally, I just have to concentrate on what I have to do. If I was ever going to be the athlete of the year, but I believe that there are already several other candidates, it would not alter what I have accomplished and the prestige attached to this title.”
Already, Kingsbury has received, earlier this week, the memorial award John Semmelink, which honours the best canadian athlete in winter sports.
His best season
Currently in confinement at his parents ‘ Two-Mountains, the plodder quebec hope of course to see the planet sports start to turn. The athlete, 27-year-old is himself a great supporter of the national hockey League and major league baseball. Less spectacular than a goal from Connor McDavid or a circuit of Mike Trout, he observes rather, these days, the press conferences of prime minister François Legault and Dr. Horacio Arruda.
“Let’s say that the month of April is a little different this year,” noted Kingsbury, who nevertheless retains the moral. For me, as an athlete, this is not dramatic. Our season of freestyle skiing has been a bit shortened, but I’m just supposed to rest at this time of the year.”
Between two training sessions in the court of his parents, Kingsbury has the leisure to Polish his 18 crystal globes, including the last two that he has added to his collection.
“Every year, I fight for the small globe of my specialty, this is a bit of my Stanley cup, he describes. The big globe (awarded to the athlete who accumulates the most points among all disciplines of freestyle skiing), it is extra, but it’s less than what I am looking for at the start. I do not control the results from the guy who made the half pipe, for example.”
“Honestly, if we speak only of the circuit of the world Cup, I can say that I have experienced the best season of my career,” added Kingsbury. My worst result in 10 races has been second-place finish (out of seven gold medals and three silver). And all the time, it was tight.”
If Saying he was not rewritten on Twitter, it is that caution may be in order. Other canadian athletes have also experienced the beginning of extraordinary year, with speed skaters Ivanie Blondin (long track) and Kim Boutin (short track), and the tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime, to name a few.
Some cancellations, however, have prevented several athletes to improve their performance and the situation persists.
Think of the other
The freestyle skier Mikaël Kingsbury is filled with compassion for the athletes who have seen the next olympic Games of Tokyo carried over, including his training partner, the judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier, and divers Meaghan Benfeito and Jennifer Abel, he also knows very well.
“Whether we like it or not, nobody is going in reverse, said Kingsbury. At least, the Tokyo Games are not canceled, but deferred a year. It gives time for athletes to do a “reset” and review their objectives to reach a new plateau of performance for the Games in 2021.”
“Honestly, I wasn’t super happy, at the start, with the news surrounding the postponement of the Games, confessed Valois-Fortier, a 30-year-old, who was first seen Canada withdraw from the olympic competition. I was really on a super launched. That being said, I am very glad that it’s postponed and not cancelled.”
One more year for study
To help other athletes cope with the situation, Kingsbury offers also an interesting approach.
“It’s like if you go to school and that you have a big exam, he imaged. You prepare and suddenly, you learn that you will have one more year to study.”
In the case of Kingsbury, his next “big review” is still expected in February 2022 when the winter olympic Games scheduled in Beijing, China. It will then focus on a third olympic medal, a second gold. However, with the uncertainty that the world of sport is currently experiencing, this meeting still seems far away.
In the running for an eighth Maurice in a row
Again nominated in the category “male Athlete international level” at the next Gala SportsQuébec, the freestyle skier Mikaël Kingsbury could put the hand on one-eighth Maurice in a row.
In fact, the last recipient of the title other than Kingsbury is the skier Erik Guay, the 2011. If the event crowning the best athletes from quebec, had not taken place the following year, due to a date change, the champion of the bumps has always prevailed since 2013.
This time, in 2020, Kingsbury was a finalist in the company of his good friend, the judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier, and Brent Lakatos (para-athletics). Among women, Kim Boutin (speed skating, short track), Linda Morais (olympic wrestling) and Aurélie Rivard (para-swimming) are the candidates for the title of female athlete at the international level. The winners will be known on Wednesday 6 may.