Four years ago in Whistler at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, ski moguls took the spot light as Jennifer Heil won silver for the women’s moguls. On the mens’ side, Alexandre Bilodeau became the first Canadian to win gold on home soil.
No one can forget the scene of Bilodeau hitting a back-flip iron cross on his first jump, flying down the moguls, hitting an off-axis D-spin 720 on the bottom jump, flying across the finish line and nearly wiping out stopping to finish with a time of 26.58. He had to wait for the last French skier to complete his third and final run, but there was not much chance to catch the man who did not ski well four years prior in Turin. Alex, along with his brother Frederic (who is Alex’s hero), became stars in Vancouver.
Fast-forward four years later. Sochi, Russia. Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. And Alex’s legacy is growing.
After starting off with two shaky qualification runs earlier in the evening, Alex put on easily one of his best performances at the Winter Olympics, scoring a 26.31 on his final run, with only Canadian teammate Mikael Kingsbury (current World Champion) to ski. Alex landed his first jump, a back double full pretty much bang on, and then seemed to fly down the moguls faster than he did in Whistler with solid turns and not a lot of unnecessary knee movement. His last jump was his best, executing an off-axis 1080 to near perfection. There wasn’t much of a chance for Mikael who finished his final run with a score of 24.71, good enough for silver.
Alex, 26, is the first Canadian skier in any discipline to win two gold medals. However, with this back to back, Alex has arguably made himself the face of the Olympic team.
Skiing not just for himself, but for his brother who has cerebral palsy, Alex has shown up in the biggest moments on the biggest stage, twice in a row at the Winter Olympics.
His bounce-back in Vancouver was great to see not just for him, but for the Canadian Olympic Committee. Becoming the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil was, and still is a huge deal to the Committee, and the many Canadians who follow skiing and the Olympic Winter Games. This second gold medal (in a row) just solidifies his legacy as arguably one of the best mogul skiers Canada has ever produced. This is also not to say Kingsbury isn’t as good, as at 21, a World Championship title is nothing to sneeze at. His following has increased with his willingness and success at replicating his 2010 Olympic performance.
Now that the mogul events are over, Bilodeau now has the chance to bask in the spot-light that is his second gold medal in a row. With about two weeks left to go in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, it’s safe to say that Alex has put himself in the conversation to be the flag-bearer for Canada at the closing ceremonies, a role only for the face of the Canadian Olympic Team.
If you didn’t see it, here is Alex’s gold medal-winning run…