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Perrine Laffont, world’s top moguls skier, takes break from competition

Perrine Laffont

BAKURIANI, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 25: Perrine Laffont of Team France wins the gold medal during the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships Men’s and Women’s Moguls on February 25, 2023 in Bakuriani, Georgia. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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France’s Perrine Laffont, the reigning world champion in moguls, will not compete this season.

“After a very intense sporting season last year, Perrine Laffont wants to take a break for a few months in order to better prepare for future sporting events, in particular the 2025 World Championships and the 2026 Olympic Games,” according to a press release.

Laffont, 25, is the 2018 Olympic gold medalist (the youngest Olympic freestyle skiing gold medalist in history) and a five-time world champion between moguls and dual moguls (a new Olympic event in 2026).

Last season, she swept the world titles in the two disciplines for the first time, a year after going into the Olympics as the favorite and finishing fourth.

In “Strong,” a film that debuted last month on the mental health of some of France’s top athletes, Laffont said she wanted to quit the sport in 2019 due to expectations, pressure and scrutiny that came with becoming an Olympic champion at age 19. She said it was the start of the “first hard moments” of her career.

After winning last February’s worlds, she spoke about the difficulty of coming back from the 2022 Olympics.

“How many times did I want to quit because I couldn’t take it anymore?” she said in French, according to film subtitles. “That’s why you should never give up because it eventually pays off.”

Laffont, whose father has been a ski instructor and mother has been president of a ski club, began moguls at age 5. She made her World Cup debut in 2014 at age 15 and competed in every race on the circuit the last nine seasons.

American Jaelin Kauf, the Olympic silver medalist, took silver behind Laffont in moguls and dual moguls at last season’s worlds.

There are no world championships this upcoming winter. The World Cup season begins Dec. 2 in Ruka, Finland, and runs into March.