Photo Credit: Canadian Freestyle Ski Association
(ISN) – Saint-Côme, QC – When Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC), 24, and his younger sister Alex-Anne, 19, grew up learning to ski on the hills of Val Saint-Côme, they never would have imagined that one day they would share the honour of being national champions.
That’s exactly what they accomplished today in front of dozens of family and friends who came out to watch the two win the dual moguls national titles in Saint-Côme, QC.
Alex-Anne captured the title by defeating Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC) in the final and shortly thereafter, Marc-Antoine defeated Ontario Provincial Team member Robbie Andison (Oakville, ON), 17, in the men’s final.
“I had originally not put a lot of pressure on myself to win here,” said Marc-Antoine. “But then I saw my sister win and I told myself that it would be pretty cool to beat Robbie (Andison) in the final and stand on the podium next to her. That made me a little nervous. This is the mountain we learned to ski on and our family came to watch us compete. It made for a great day.”
The siblings each won their first national title during a season in which they’ve showed tremendous growth as freestyle skiers.
Marc-Antoine won his first World Championship medal earlier this year and Alex-Anne had her first top-five finish during the FIS World Cup season.
“This is an amazing way to end the season and to do it on my home mountain is special,” said Alex-Anne. “We have so many supporters here from Saint-Côme cheering us on and believing in us. We would have never imagined this to happen. I was so focused on my own skiing and for the day to end like this is pretty memorable. A brother and sister winning nationals together is something we will remember for a while.”
Finishing in third place on the day was Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) and Quebec Provincial Team athletes Valérie Gilbert (Brossard, QC).
Seeing two provincial athletes on the podium today gave spectators and opportunity to see what the future might have in store for the national team.
“I felt that the weekend started off great when I finished a personal best at senior nationals yesterday,” said Andison. “I thought I had an awesome day today. My strategy was to try and push the competitors to the top air to make them go big on their jump and cause them to have trouble the rest of the way down. It worked and I got a little lucky too. I hope to eventually be named to the national team. It’s a goal of mine and we’ll see where that takes me.