Mogul skiing will be one of the first competitions of the 2018 Winter Olympics, with the opening round taking place several hours before the official Opening Ceremony of the Games.
Don’t worry though – no Olympic dreams will be snuffed out before the Olympic flame is even lit. The organizers have split the qualifying round across two separate days, so no athletes are going to be eliminated before they get the chance to walk in the ceremony.
One man who shouldn’t have much trouble with the qualifying rounds is Mikael Kingsbury. The Canadian skier is one of the most dominant athletes in any Olympic sport right now, and he’ll be the one everyone else is trying to beat in PyeongChang.
How to Watch
NBCOlympics.com will be streaming every round of every competition live online. Links to each stream are below.
Qualifying Rd. 1: Thursday, Feb. 8, 9:45 pm. ETLIVE EVENT STREAM
Qualifying Rd. 2: Monday, Feb. 12, 5:30 a.m. ETLIVE EVENT STREAM
Final: Monday, Feb. 12, 7:00 a.m. ETLIVE EVENT STREAM
Who’s competing: Brad Wilson, Troy Murphy, Emerson Smith, Casey Andringa
Team USA’s best medal hopes likely rest with Brad Wilson, the 2017 World silver medalist in dual moguls. He’s currently ranked seventh in the World Cup rankings and finished on the podium at an event last month. Wilson was 20th at the last Olympics. His brother, Bryon, is also a mogul skier and won a bronze medal at the 2010 Games.
The Olympian on this team with the craziest path to PyeongChang is Casey Andringa, who was profiled in a story on NBCOlympics.com earlier this week. A few years ago, he was hospitalized with an infection that nearly turned fatal. Last year, he considered quitting mogul skiing after he didn’t make the U.S. national team. Instead of giving up, he spent the summer living in a camper parked in the woods and continued his training. A pair of surprising top-10 finishes in his first two career World Cup starts earlier this season earned him a place on the Olympic team.
The International Field
Here are a few names to know when it comes to the rest of the world.
Mikael Kingsbury, Canada: The 2014 Olympic silver medalist and a heavy favorite for gold in PyeongChang. He has won 48 World Cup events in his career (a record) and had a streak of 13 straight victories (also a record) that recently ended. He’s earned the moguls World Cup title for six straight years and is poised to do so again after winning the first six events of the current season. Kingsbury also has world championships gold, making an Olympic title the only thing missing from his collection.
Ikuma Horishima, Japan: The man who ended Kingsbury’s record win streak just a few weeks ago. Horishima, just 20 years old, was a surprise double gold medalist at last year’s world championships, winning one title in moguls and another in the non-Olympic discipline of dual moguls. He is currently sixth in the World Cup rankings.
Choi Jae-Woo, South Korea: The host nation’s best hope for an Olympic freestyle skiing medal in PyeongChang. Choi is coached by Toby Dawson, who won a bronze medal in moguls for the U.S. in 2006 and now trains the Korean national team. According to Korean media, Choi became so focused on his training that he gave up drinking, stopped seeing his friends and sold his car. He made a huge leap this season and is currently fourth in the World Cup rankings. Previously, his highest end-of-season ranking was 13th.
Philippe Marquis, Canada: The skier competing with a torn ACL. Marquis, who finished fourth in last year’s World Cup rankings, looked like a medal contender until he suffered the injury just one month ago. Although he hasn’t competed since injuring his knee, Marquis fully intends to compete in PyeongChang.