Wallberg upsets 'The King' to win Olympic men's moguls title

ZHANGJIAKOU, China - Walter Wallberg of Sweden upset "The King" to take home the gold medal in the men's moguls at the Beijing Olympics.

Wallberg looked almost in shock when his score of 83.23 flashed on the board, edging defending Olympic champion Mikael Kingsbury of Canada on a bitterly cold Saturday night. Wallberg picked up points for his speed over the smooth and technical skiing style of Kingsbury, whose nickname is the "King of Moguls."

Now, there's a new king of the hill.

Ikuma Horishima of Japan took home the bronze. As the athletes were positioning themselves for the post-contest pictures, Kingsbury looked almost confused where to stand and had to switch places with Horishima. Clearly, Kingsbury's not used to finishing second.

Wallberg's surprise victory interrupts the men's moguls dominance of Team Canada, which had won the event in the last three Winter Games.

This was Wallberg's first major win. The 21-year-old Swede has never even won a World Cup event.

To think, Wallberg discovered moguls almost by accident. When he moved to Are, Sweden, he saw some kids practicing on the moguls course one day and was instantly drawn to the sport.

Kingsbury entered the night as the overwhelming favorite - always is these days. Just watch the red patterns below the knees set against his white snow pants to understand why: The patterns rarely move.

But Wallberg proved speedier along the course. The last racer to go on the Secret Garden Olympic course, he pumped his fist in excitement after his run and raised the goggles to check out the scoreboard.

The new king liked what he saw.


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