A community day was held in Val Saint-Côme on Sunday, in what has become tradition for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association after a domestic World Cup.
The community days allows the athletes to connect with the hundreds of fans that come out for an opportunity to meet their idols. As always people in attendance, both young and old, were given the opportunity to get autographs, take pictures and even ski with our national team.
Being able to host one in Quebec, where a large majority of the team resides, really hit home with several athletes.
“It’s always nice to have a fun day like this after an event,” said Philippe Marquis. “It’s awesome to see the smiles on all the children’s faces that we meet here. You can see how much they appreciate us being here and they love the sport. It really warms your heart to see how you can motivate them. When I was a kid I’d go to Mont Tremblant to watch the World Cup and I always appreciated when the athletes took the time to sign autographs and meet fans. Now it’s our turn to give back.”
Giving back to the sport has been one of the mandates for this mogul team. Many of them got the opportunity to meet their idols as young skiers and that left an impact on their lives.
“When I was a kid I remember getting the opportunity to ski with Jean-Luc Brassard,” said Audrey Robichaud. “I was only seven years old and it really impacted me because I thought he was the coolest guy for doing it. He took photos with us and signed autographs. I feel like we can do that for the kids here today. We want to promote the sport and get new kids involved. Moguls are so fun and I hope we can motivate people to go far in the sport.”
For Marc-Antoine Gagnon, the event was even more special. Gagnon grew up skiing on the hills at Val Saint-Côme and put on his first pair of skis there at the age of two.
“It’s always fun to meet the kids and especially today at Val Saint-Côme, it’s where I’m from,” said Gagnon. “I remember when I was younger I would look up to national team athletes. It’s nice now that I’m the guy that kids might look up to. I hope I can be an inspiration for them. We have a big club here so it’s nice to see all the freestyle skiers come out. I try to give back as much as I can and coach during my spare time. It’s a pleasure for me to do that and help the community that gave me so much.”
Overall the weekend at Val Saint-Côme will be considered a success. Three Canadians made the podium, but it is the impressions left on the community that will provide the sport with the opportunity to grow even more.
“Igniting the imagination of future generations of freestyle skiing athletes is a key strategy of the CFSA’s athlete development and business plans,” said Bruce Robinson, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. “The community day at Station Touristique Val Saint-Côme was an awesome opportunity for kids to interact and ski with Canada’s mogul skiing heroes like Mikaël Kingsbury and the Dufour-Lapointe sisters. The CFSA will continue to plan and invest in this type of community engagement. I want to thank Station Touristique Val Saint-Côme, La Fédération québécoise de ski acrobatique and our national team athletes for creating a memorable day.”
Photo: André Chevrier / Canadian Freestyle Ski Association
Read more in our News Archives.
For more information, contact George Fadel.
– 30 –
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.