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Olympics / Sports

Canada wins gold, silver in men's moguls skiing

SOCHI, Russia -- There have been six medals handed out in moguls skiing at these Winter Games. Four of them have gone to Canada.

First, there were the Dufour-Lapointe sisters -- Justine and Chloe -- who went one-two in the women's event. Then Monday night, Canada went one-two on the men's side.

In fact, if Marc-Antoine Gagnon had been a tiny bit faster, there could have been a total Canadian podium lockdown.

As it was, Alex Bilodeau repeated as gold medalist with an eye-popping final score of 26.31, and champion-in-waiting Mikael Kingsbury took the silver in 24.71. Alexandr Smyshlyaev of Russia delighted the home crowd by grabbing the bronze.

Smyshlyaev's score was 24.34 to fourth-place Gagnon's 23.35. The only American to make the six-man Super Final was Patrick Deneen, who placed sixth.

Kingsbury had the unenviable assignment of going two skiers after Bilodeau's incredible final run.

"He put a lot of pressure on me," said Kingsbury, who was the world champion last year." I wasn't going for silver or bronze, I was going for gold. I made a small mistake and that was it."

The new Olympics format for the event featured three final knockout rounds. "I'm glad it's not the same format as Vancouver because I would have finished eighth," Bilodeau said. "That was the big thing for me, a big deal for me to get that consistent the last four years. I needed to become more consistent for Sochi."

As he did when he won in Vancouver, Bilodeau celebrated his gold medal with his older brother Frederic, who has cerebral palsy.

In the interview room, he paid an emotional tribute to Frederic.

"When I'm on the hill, he's in my mind," Bilodeau said. "And he's pushing me to be a better skier. ... Whatever I do in my life, my brother is my inspiration.

"Just like you and I, he has dreams. He has dreams and most of them are not realizable. He does still dream. He talks about it. He never complains it's not realistic to him.

"With his motivation, he would be four-time Olympic champion. It's crazy the motivation he takes. Every step is very hard for him in life. I have an easy path. I need to go after it and do the best I can."

(c)2014 Los Angeles Times

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