We had the pleasure of sitting down with FIS Moguls World Cup points leader, Philippe Marquis, ahead of the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup presented by Difference Capital in Calgary. Check out this insightful interview that includes what Philippe wants to see added to the Olympic Games.
Q: Before we get started, I’d like to congratulate you on winning the opening World Cup of the season in Ruka, Finland.
A: Thanks! It was pretty special and only my second win on the World Cup tour. The last one was in 2012. This was my six-career podium. To start the year super well and earning the yellow leader bib is pretty cool. It’s special to enter the holidays with it and to be able to keep it for at least three weeks. I’m looking forward to keeping it as long as I can.
Q: How did the win feel different than your last one in 2012?
A: This win put me right back on the horse. It had been nearly two years since my last podium. At some point you start wondering if you’re doing things right. I felt like I was because the team around me was supporting me including the coaching staff and athletes. Everyone was telling me I was skiing well, but at some point you start to wonder why it’s not happening for you. I was healthy and really pumped to start the year. I put everything into it and it showed in my skiing.
Q: Walk us into the mind of an athlete for a moment. What do you do to keep mentally sharp when you’re not reaching the podium?
A: That’s a good question. Every athlete wants to win and compete. We all want to be on top of that podium. When it doesn’t happen you have to take all the small good things and build on them. That’s what I’ve been doing. Compiling all the little positives and building on that. Every good day of skiing and training kept me motivated. That’s been the key for me to stay in the zone.
Q: Do you feel more at ease competing in the dual moguls?
A: Not really. It’s kind of weird. Every time I compete in a dual event, I wish it was a single event. It’s funny saying that after winning the first dual of the season. I showed myself I can win every event.
Q: If someone is new to the sport, how do you explain to them the different between the moguls and dual moguls event?
A: They are very similar, but mentally you have to turn a different switch on when it’s a dual event and you’re racing against the guy next to you. You’re trying to put as much pressure on him while going as fast as you can. In single mogul events you’re trying to impress the judges more to get the highest number of points. So dual is very different in that sense. It’s do or die. You win and you move on, if not you’re out and your day is over.
Q: The dual moguls event isn’t in the Winter Olympics yet. Is that something you want to see happen for the sport before you retire?
A: Absolutely! When you look at a sport like figure skating, they have so many opportunities to win medals. It gives you a chance to redeem yourself if you have one bad day or a bad race. For us, we’ve had just one single event. You cross your fingers that you are on your game that day. You train four years to get to that moment and peak at the right time. Having a second chance with a dual moguls event would be great and positive. It’s a spectacular event in an exciting sport. It’ll be a good show.
Q: What’s your game plan now leading up to the FIS Moguls World Cup on January 3rd in Calgary?
A: I think this win was a great way to start the season. Now as the FIS points leader, I want to try to hold on to that title as long as possible. I will try to be on the podium as often as possible. That’s my goal.
Q: How special is it knowing that you are competing in a domestic World Cup?
A: We’re pretty lucky to have a couple of World Cups in our country. Not every athlete gets that. It’s always really special seeing all the Canadian spectators, volunteers and young athletes. It’s always a cool moment to represent your country.
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The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association is the governing body in Canada for the sport of Freestyle Skiing. With the support of its valued corporate along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the CFSA develops Olympic and world champions in all disciplines of the sport.