BY: The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association PHOTOGRAPHY: Anastasia Koroleva
Aerialist Sabrina Guérin (Laval, QC) has announced her retirement from freestyle skiing after a seven-year World Cup career that started back in 2008.
Most recently the 2015 Canadian National Champion, Guérin walks away from the sport as a four-time national champion who competed in four World Championships and had 36 World Cup starts.
Guérin, 30, was also awarded the FIS Rookie of the Year award for the 2008-2009 season.
“I love the sport and all the people involved,” said Guérin. “I enjoyed the training and the coaching. I am really lucky you know. I started off as a gymnast and when I retired from that, I discovered aerials. It gave me a second chance at competing and a second career in sports. I accomplished way more as an aerialist than I did as a gymnast. I’m really grateful to have been given this opportunity.”
A pioneer as one of the first gymnasts to transfer sports, Guérin’s opportunity originally came from three-time Olympian Nicolas Fontaine who recruited her to make the switch to freestyle skiing in 2006.
From there, Guérin’s work ethic and her willingness to learn set a great example for the entire team.
“She always displayed a professional and disciplined approach to training, which inspired many younger athletes,” said Head Coach Dennis Capicik. “Although Sabrina may not have achieved the results she worked so hard to try and obtain, her amazing work ethic and perseverance were unequalled. She still remains one of the very few women in Canadian Aerials to train triples on a regular basis.”
The hardest part of walking away from the sport for Guérin is the fact that she never competed at a Winter Olympic Games.
“I didn’t get the results I wanted in the last few years,” added Guérin. “My difficulties more so stemmed from the mental side of things and dealing with the disappointment of bad results. I didn’t want to go through more seasons like this. I have no regrets at all. The hardest part is letting go of my Olympic dream. All this factored into my decision and made it harder.”
For now, Guérin’s focus will be on her education with her goal to complete her undergraduate degree from the University of Laval in 2016.
“I have many people to thank,” added Guérin. “Including the CFSA and their high performance directors, David Mirota and Marc-Andre Moreau. Also, Nicolas Fontaine who discovered me. My coaches the last few years – Daniel Murphy and Dennis Capicik. Jonathan Pelletier, he’s the best in physio trainer in the business and we’re lucky to have him. Also, Liz Gardner who I got to train with. They all had a big impact on me.”