Find basic information about freestyle skiing and about the Canadian athletes who are in Sochi competing for medals. Look to the right for links to interviews and for information on how your kids can get into skiing themselves, including how they can freestyle at home.
If your kids are looking for an event that is fun to watch and one that a Canadian woman or man is highly likely to win, then look no further than freestyle mogul skiing.
Team Canada is arguably the best in the world in moguls. The two top Canadian men – including Mikaël Kingsbury, pictured above (from the Canadian Olympic Committee’s We Are Winter campaign) – have won practically every single world cup event for the past two years, and the women’s team has a trio of sisters from Quebec who could actually sweep the podium.
If you aren’t a skier, “moguls” might sound a little like something out of the Harry Potter series, but they are simply big “bumps” on the ski slope that provide obstacles and improvised jumps for acrobatic skiers. Moguls are created when the snow gets pushed and compressed into hundreds of scattered humps by the repetitive turns of all the skiers skiing the same line over a few days.
Here’s how freestyle mogul skiing started
People have skied for as long as there has been snow, but downhill skiing didn’t become a recreational and competitive sport until around the 1920s when people skied around gates at the Olympics. Mogul skiing emerged in Canada in the early 1970s as a competitive discipline, and it slowly became popular around the world in following years.
The first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in Moguls was Jean-Luc Brassard in 1994. Jennifer Heil won gold in 2006 in Turin, and at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, Alexandre Bilodeau won gold, while Heil took silver.
How cool is this?
- The term mogul derives from the German word “mugl” meaning small hill.
- There are about 2.5 million skiers and snowboarders in Canada.
Here’s how to watch a moguls competition
- Competitors go down the hill as fast as they can, maneuvering around moguls and doing tricks in the air off of two jumps. The fastest runs, with the most amazing jumps and best turns wins!
- Five judges assess how well skiers handle the moguls and the quality of their jumps.
- A skier’s final score is determined by: 50% turns, 25% jumps, 25% speed.
- The competition starts with 30 athletes. 20 skiers go to Finals 1, then 12 skiers go to Finals 2, then 6 skiers go to Finals 3.
Learn about the other freestyle skiing events.
Here are the types of skiing events at the Olympic Winter Games
In freestyle skiing, men and women skiers will compete in:
- Skicross (there’s also snowboard cross)
- Halfpipe (there’s also halfpipe snowboarding)
- Slopestyle (there’s also snowboard slopestyle)
There are also five alpine ski events for both men and women:
- Giant slalom
Cheer for the Canadian skiers
- List of Canadian athletes competing
- Follow Canada’s freestyle ski team on Twitter and Facebook
- Watch on CBC-TV: broadcast schedule
More Olympic mogul skiing at
Active for Life
- News updates from Sochi, just for kids
- Read our interview with Philippe Marquis
- First steps to becoming a freestyle mogul skier
- AfL Mini-Games: How your kids can ski moguls at home
Image © Canadian Olympic Committee
Watch a cool video
Phillipe Marquis and Alexandre Bilodeau ski side-by-side in the Canadian Championships in March 2013.