The World Cup mogul tour came to the Lanaudiere region of Quebec last weekend and put on a spectacular show for massive crowds of family, friends, fans and young athletes from across Ontario and Quebec.
In the final competition to determine Olympic spots, Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) took home the Gold scoring just above her younger sister Justine Dufour-Lapointe. In third place was Junke Hoshino of Japan.
American Hannah Kearney, the reigning Olympic champion and yellow bib holding tour leader, missed her 360 mute grab proving she is fallible and ended up in fourth position. But for the Dufour-Lapointe family, the highlight of the day was the knowledge that Maxime, the eldest was joining her younger sisters in Sochi.
“The best of this is that I have achieved my goal,” said Maxime Dufour-Lapointe. To work towards something and make it happen. It’s the best thing in the world!”
The fourth member of the team will be Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC) who did not compete today, but has qualified for The Games based upon her last year’s results.
On the men’s side, in what has become a classic duel of champions, Alex Bilodeau, (Rosemère, QC) the 2010 Olympic Champion beat his teammate and rival Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC).
Both Bilodeau’s and Kingsbury’s jumps were back double fulls followed by Cork 1080s -the hardest degree of difficulty on the tour. Their scores tend to flip back and forth, but today, Bilodeau won with 26.49 over Kingsbury’s 25.66. In third place was American Bradley Wilson with 23.90
While the cheers were deafening for Bilodeau and Kingsbury, the loudest noise was reserved for local boy Marc-Antoine Gagnon, (Terrebonne, QC) who finished seventh today, but secured his place as the first ever Val Saint-Côme mogul skier to make the Olympic team. Gagnon, a surprise to most, started making his mark last week in Deer Valley when he helped Canadian men sweep the podium by finishing third.
The heartbreak of the day were the two athletes being left behind. Andi Naude (Penticton, BC) ended up in 13th position and just missed making her Olympic debut. On the men’s side, Philippe Marquis (Ste-Foy, QC) came eighth today. Last year he came third at the Sochi test event and trained last summer for an entire month in Zermatt with broken ribs. A seventh place finish would have secured his Olympic spot.
“The ranking system is highly complicated,” said David Mirota, CFSA’s Director of High Performance, “when we put it in place two years ago, we knew that it was impossible to make it perfect. There are too many variables. We are basically comparing apples with oranges and zucchinis. It is heart wrenching to see a guy like Phil not go to the Games. But it is part of being part of such a strong team.”
Other Canadian Results
Christel Hamel from (Montreal, QC) – 9th
Andi Naude (Penticton, BC) – 13th
Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) – 15th
Myriam Leclerc (Pierrefonds, QC) – 25th
Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC) – 31st
Clare Lambert (Calgary, AB) – 32nd
Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC) – 7th
Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) – 8th
Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh (L’Ancienne-Lorette, QC) – 10th
Eddie Hicks (Langley, BC) – 20th
Kerrian Chunlaud (Sainte-Foy, QC) – 35th
Hugo Blanchette (Ile d’Orléans, QC) – 39th
Pascal-Olivier Gagné (Montréal, QC) – 51st
Luke Ulsifer (Grande Prairie, AB) – DNF
Simon Lemieux (Repentigny, QC) – DNS
Photo courtesy of Freestyle Canada.
SnowOnline Editor: Lori Knowles