Jaelin Kauf ends U.S. moguls medal drought at worlds, Mikael Kingsbury breaks records


Jaelin Kauf earned the first U.S. moguls medal at a world championships in eight years, a silver on Saturday to end the nation’s longest podium drought in the event.

The U.S. is the most successful nation in Olympic moguls with 12 medals, but had not earned a world championships medal since the last of Hannah Kearney‘s four medals in 2015 (a silver). From 2003 through 2015, the U.S. earned at least one moguls medal at seven consecutive world championships, then had none in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Kauf followed her Olympic silver medal last year by finishing runner-up on Saturday to 2018 Olympic champion Perrine Laffont of France. Laffont tallied 87.40 points in her super final run to Kauf’s 83.56. Austrian Avital Carroll took bronze in Bakuriani, Georgia.

“Post-Christmas and the second half of the [season], really focused on my strengths,” said Kauf, who had the best time in the super final contrasted to Laffont’s air superiority. “That’s skiing with speed and executing the jumps that I have to a really high level. I feel like I’m really pushing the sport.”

Kauf added another silver behind Laffont in Sunday’s dual moguls, the head-to-head discipline that makes its Olympic debut in 2026.

“Definitely going for the gold both days, but I’ll settle for second,” Kauf said with a laugh. “That last run, in the gate, I was telling myself, ‘You’re skiing to win. Leave it all out there last run,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”

In 2018, Kauf entered the Olympics ranked No. 1 in the World Cup standings and finished seventh. In 2022, Kauf entered the Olympics ranked 19th in the World Cup and finished second. This year, Kauf entered worlds ranked fourth in the World Cup.

The 26-year-old Kauf’s parents were both pro tour moguls champions. They never competed in the Olympics, but both later took up ski cross. Her mom made X Games podiums in 1999, 2000 and 2002.

Laffont broke the female record with her fifth total moguls and dual moguls world title, surpassing Traa and Canadian Jenn Heil.

At last year’s Olympics, Laffont shockingly finished fourth after missing just two World Cup podiums in the four-year Olympic cycle.

Australian Jakara Anthony, who won the Olympics last year, placed 17th on Saturday, her worst finish in a top-level moguls or dual moguls event since January 2018.

In Saturday’s men’s moguls, Canadian Mikaël Kingsbury became the first man or woman to win four world titles in the event, breaking his tie for the record with Frenchman Edgar Grospiron, who won gold in Olympic moguls’ debut in 1992.

“I came here with no pressure because I told myself, you know, I’ve won six times at world championships [between moguls and dual moguls], so why put pressure again?” Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury scored 89.82 points, relegating Australian Matt Graham to silver (88.90) and Sweden’s Walter Wallberg to bronze (88.52). Wallberg upset Kingsbury at last year’s Olympics.

Then on Sunday, Kingsbury won his fourth world title in dual moguls, breaking this tie with fellow Canadians Heil and Alexandre Bilodeau for the most in that event.

Peacock airs live coverage of the world freestyle skiing and snowboarding championships. The next finals are in snowboard slopestyle on Monday.

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Nick Page ends longest drought in U.S. men’s moguls history

Nick Page

Olympian Nick Page became the first U.S. male moguls skier to win a World Cup in six years, ending the longest men’s drought in American history.

Page, a 20-year-old who was fifth at February’s Olympics, earned his first World Cup victory by tallying 81.02 points in his last run to beat the last two Olympic gold medalists — Canadian Mikaël Kingsbury and Swede Walter Wallberg — in Idre Fjäll, Sweden on Saturday.

Page became the first U.S. man to win a World Cup moguls event since Brad Wilson in 2016. Wilson’s brother, Bryon, won the last U.S. Olympic men’s moguls medal (bronze) in 2010.

Page was inspired to become a moguls skier while watching Bryon Wilson win his medal, then live streamed the 2014 Olympic event during a seventh-grade class and attended the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

Page, a Park City, Utah, native, also ended a run of 15 consecutive World Cup moguls or dual moguls events won by Kingsbury or Japan’s Ikuma Horishima dating to the start of 2021.

NBC Olympic research contributed to this report.

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe

Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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