Usually Mikael Kingsbury would prepare his ski bag for a snow course in Oregon in two weeks. Instead, he will take off his swimsuit to train on the water ramp.
Tired of a two-week quarantine for travelers returning to Canada, the Olympic freestyle skiing champion decided to cancel his participation in the Canadian team’s Mount Hood camp later this month.
The low elevation offered on the Timberline track, which is open all year round, has tipped the balance. Kingsbury found it more beneficial to continue his workouts indoors at the private gym in Saint-Henri and on the Lac-Beauport water ramp, where he works out his jumps.
“I just got back from camp in Canmore, Sunshine, where I did what I wanted,” he explained by telephone on Thursday. Camp on Mount Hood will be about the same. I feel like I have achieved my goals. I don’t want to be quarantined for this. ”
Kingsbury went through three strict two-week quarantines last season. One – after a fracture of two dorsal vertebrae, suffered in Finland before the start of the season. The other after two wins at the World Cup in Deer Valley, where he recovered. The latter on his return from the World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he added two crowns to his hunting list.
Fourth in nine days of skiing in June? No thanks, even though the Beijing Olympics are fast approaching.
“It’s hard for me to live with,” Kingsbury explained. He stressed that staying at the hotel in anticipation of a negative test result for COVID-19 and 14 days at home should be spent away from relatives, otherwise they should be in the same conditions of isolation.
The Olympic champion regrets that the Canadian government does not provide benefits to athletes, often fully vaccinated, who return from competitions, where they usually have very strict sanitary conditions. He cites Almaty Worlds where he was tested “every 48 hours” and spoke to only 10 of his team members.
“When you get home, you will have to take the test again, go to the hotel, isolate yourself for two weeks. it rude… I sympathize with the summer athletes who have to go through this now. Games take place in a month and a half. “
Seriously, it is really a pocketbook for the Canadian government to do this to athletes. It’s just a shame when you see what is happening in other countries.
The 28-year-old skier adds that if he went to the United States, he would only need to take a drug test before flying, and then he could go about his business as soon as he lands. Finland in November offered foreigners almost the same flexible terms.
“At the moment I don’t understand. I don’t know the percentage, but many people are vaccinated. I understand the quarantine, it prevents people from traveling to Mexico. “
Athletes, we are not going to Cancun. We go to places much stricter than in Quebec. Give us some break when we get home. We want to prepare for important events.
The evil one, Mikael Kingsbury, who isn’t used to ranting? “No, I’m just tired,” he said, trying not to embarrass himself and especially regretting his summer sports friends.
“I know and I am sure that there are people who are doing their best to help us. I thank them. But this is not enough. ”
Runner Charles Philibert-Tibuto, who is currently in Europe to try to qualify in Tokyo, also regretted the “dire situation” for Canadian athletes in Click on three weeks ago.
Read the article “The situation is dire”
Kingsbury is asking Heritage Canada, which operates the sports sector, to provide an “exemption” for athletes returning from overseas to compete or train. He is ready for testing at any time upon his return.
In the fall, he intends to take off his shirt and “chase the snow”, probably for a period of three weeks to one month in Europe. With the hope that the situation will improve and his demands will find an attentive response in the political sphere.