Season Preview: 2019/20 FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup



Mikael Kingsbury competing in front of his home crowd in Mont-Tremblant (CAN) © Valerie Goyette / Freestyle Canada

The highly-anticipated 2019/2020 FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup is set to finally get underway in Finland at the Freestyle Opening Ruka on December 7. A total of 13 competitions are scheduled to go down at nine different venues this season, including well-established events in afore-mentioned Ruka, as well as Thaiwoo (CHN), Tremblant (CAN), Calgary (CAN), Deer Valley (USA), Tazawako (JPN), Almaty (KAZ) and two brand new venues on the moguls World Cup tour – Krasnoyarsk (RUS) and Idre Fjäll (SWE). With no world championships or Olympics in the calendar in 2019/20, the focus of this winter campaign will centre around the battle for the World Cup crystal globes. With the world’s best moguls skiers hungry to get the season started and ready to push their limits, the 2019/20 World Cup season is primed to bring the thrills for moguls fans around the globe over the next four months of action. 

Venues (click for more info):

Ruka (FIN), Dec 7, 2019 – For the 10th straight year the season’s opening competing will take place just south of the Article Circle at Finland’s famous Ruka ski resort. The organisers in Ruka have consistently delivered a top-notch venue and a thrilling competition year after year, so again this season we’re expecting an exciting spectacle under the lights on the famed “Battery Run” course. 

Thaiwoo (CHN), Dec 14-15, 2019 – Located just 15 minutes away from Secret Garden (where  freestyle, freeski and snowboard events at the future 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games will take place), Thaiwoo Ski Resort has established itself as a regular host to the moguls World Cup competitions. The venue has at all turns proven to be primed, keen venue more than up to the task of delivering a world-class show. Again in 2019/20 Thaiwoo will be centre stage for back-to-back competitions on December 14-15, with single and dual moguls events set to heat up the the slopes in China just before the holidays break.

Tremblant (CAN), Jan 20, 2020 – For the first competition of the new decade, 2020 will open in the heart of Canadian mogul skiing – Mont Tremblant. The resort has a deep history of hosting World Cup competitions, with moguls and aerials events staged here regularly from 1996 to 2005. This season will mark the the third straight year that the classic venue of the “Flying Mile” run on the mountain’s south side will be the stage for one of the most anticipated competitions in the region.

Calgary (CAN), Feb 1, 2020 – Another Canadian stop on the 2019/20 moguls World Cup tour will bring us to one of the most historically important venues in freestyle skiing this weekend -Calgary’s WinSport Canada Olympic Park.  Here at the 1988 Games, Freestyle made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport, with aerials, and acro competitions laying the foundation for Freestyle to become the overwhelmingly popular Olympic draw that it is today.

Deer Valley (USA), Feb 6-8, 2020 – In 2019/20 the moguls World Cup is coming back to one of the most iconic venue in freestyle skiing – Deer Valley. The resort has been successfully running World Cup competitions for both moguls & aerials since 2000, and after hosting one of the most exciting dual moguls events ever at last year’s Utah 2019 World Championships we’re more than thrilled to see what’s in store the Deer Valley competitions in 2020. If you had to select one highlight event of the season, Deer Valley has all ingredients to be the right choice, with great crowds, the world’s top course and unparalleled organisation. 

Tazawako (JPN), Feb 22-23, 2020 – Tazawako made its World Cup debut back in 2014/15 and ever since the Japanese event has proven able to deliver top-notch moguls and dual moguls competitions on the resort’s tough moguls course. With huge crowds on hand and thrilling competitions seen throughout the previous years of World Cup action at the venue, we’re excited to see what’s in store for Tazawako in 2019/20.

Almaty (KAZ), Mar 1, 2020 – After successful World Cup debut in 2018/19, FIS Freestyle returns to Kazakhstan with a dual moguls event on March 1. Located just 25 km outside of the former capital and largest city in the country, Almaty, the Shymbulak Mountain Resort is famous for its mild climate, sunny weather and regular snow supplies throughout the season. With the start section located at 2570 meters above sea level, the venue at Shymbulak boasts the highest elevation on the entire FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup tour, and the towering big mountain terrain sets the perfect background for the world’s best moguls action. 

Krasnoyarsk (RUS), Mar 8, 2020 – The first of two new venues on the 2019/20 FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup tour is Russia’s Krasnoyarsk, located in the heart of Siberia. The “Sopka Cluster” venue that played host to all freestyle, freeski and snowboard events during the 2019 Winter Universiade, is one of the most modern but also unique facilities for freestyle sports, with its compact layout making it a perfect spot for both training and competing. And with Krasnoyarsk bidding to host the 2025 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle & Freeski World Championships, we can count on the “Sopka Cluster” to host both moguls and aerials World Cup events for years to come. 

Idre Fjäll (SWE), Mar 14-15, 2020 – For the first time since 2013, the moguls World Cup is returning to Sweden, restarting a long tradition of hosting freestyle events that dates back to 1984. In 2019/20, in addition to the long-established stop of the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup, Idre Fjäll adds another big event to its calendar – the final moguls and dual moguls competitions of the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season. The venue in Idre has been up and running since October 20 and has served as a training ground for many national teams getting ready for the upcoming campaign and it will welcome world’s top athletes once again in March for an exciting moguls World Cup grand finale.

Ones to watch – WOMEN (click for FIS profile): 

Perrine Laffont (FRA) – 21-year-old skier wrapped up the 2018/19 World Cup campaign claiming her second consecutive moguls World Cup crystal globe while also winning the overall FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup title. Add to that a gold and bronze medal at the Utah 2019 World Championships, as well as a top-3 finish in each of last season’s World Cup competitions and it’s hard not to put Laffont among favourites to shine also in 2019/20.

Jaelin Kauf (USA) – Representing a young wave of US moguls skiers Jaelin Kauf finished the past World Cup campaign just behind Laffont in second place, also claiming silver medal in front of the home crowd in Deer Valley at 2019 world championships. Entering the 2019/20 season it’s fair to expect that 23-year-old Kauf will try increase her World Cup victories counts as she’s is a podium threat every time she drops in.  

Jakara Anthony (AUS) – Ripping through bumps for the Flying Kangaroos squad, Jakarta Anthony had a break-out 2018/19 World Cup season, starting with scoring her very first World Cup podium in Thaiwoo just to follow it up with her first World Cup victory in Lake Placid. She finished in top-5 in every World Cup event last season, which resulted in her third place in the final moguls World Cup ranking, behind Laffont and Kauf. After successful winter season in the Southern Hemisphere, heading into 2019/20 campaign 21-year-old Anthony will be looking to continue her exceptional skiing and maintain her status as a contender for the moguls World Cup crystal globe.

Not to be overlooked: Yulia Galysheva (KAZ), Tess Johnson (USA), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN), Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (CAN), Junko Hoshino (JPN), Hinako Tomitaka (JPN), Laura Grasemann (GER), Olivia Giaccio (USA), Britteny Cox (AUS), Anastasiia Smirnova (RUS).

Ones to watch – MEN (click for FIS profile): 

Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) – “The King of Moguls” needs no introduction, as the 27-year-old ripper from Canada has been the most dominant figure on the entire FIS Freestyle Ski & Freeski World Cup tour for the better part of a decade. After another outrageously successful 2018/19 campaign that saw Kingsbury claim his eight straight moguls World Cup title to go along with two gold medals at Utah 2019 World Championships, expect more milestones to come for “The King” this season. In fact, Kinsbury’s first milestone is set to come at the season’s first event in Ruka, where he will celebrate his 100th World Cup start while looking to grab his 57th World Cup victory. 

Ikuma Horishima (JPN) – The double gold medallist from Sierra Nevada 2017 World Championships, Ikuma Horishima has been the biggest threat to Kingsbury’s dominance in the recent years, with the Japanese skier’s “go big or go home” style of skiing pushing his Canadian rival to up his game. Horishima finished last season with a victory at the final event of the season in Almaty to cement his place as the second-overall skier in the final World Cup rankings.  One thing we can count on while heading into the new campaign is that 21-year-old skier from the Land of the Rising Sun will be even more motivated to push his skiing and tricks this season. 

Benjamin Cavet (FRA) – Representing Team France, Ben Cavet was the only skier besides Ikuma Horishima, who managed to upset Mikael Kingsbury and claim a victory on men’s moguls World Cup tour last season, helping himself to a third place finish in the overall moguls World Cup ranking. With a total of 15 World Cup podiums to his record Cavet has been one of the most consistent athletes on tour in the recent years and without a doubt he will be one to watch out for once again in 2019/20.

Not to be overlooked: Walter Wallberg (SWE), Matt Graham (AUS), Daichi Hara (JPN), Bradley Wilson (USA), Dmitriy Reikherd (KAZ), Jimi Salonen (FIN), Oskar Elofsson (SWE), Ludvig Fjallstrom (SWE), Pavel Kolmakov (KAZ), Dylan Walczyk (USA). 

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