Alexandre Bilodeau is one of Canada’s most distinguished athletes. Not only is he the first Canadian Olympian to win Gold at a Candian Olympic Games, he is also the first Olympian in history to defend his Gold Medal in any freestyle Skiing event. Here, Alex talks about how he initially got involved in the sport and how families can get started as well.
Mediaplanet: How old were you when you first tried Skiing and how did you first get involved?
Alexandre Bilodeau: I started skiing when I was 3. I got involved in skiing because my family already practised the sport and encouraged me to try it. My family had a cottage in Saint-Sauveur, which is right next to the ski hill. I started mogul skiing at 8.
What made you fall in love with the sport, compared to others?
Mogul skiing is very complete and complex, because it allies speed, air awareness and technique. I like the fact that you compete against yourself, so your results solely depend on your own performance. On top of it all, it gives you a serious adrenaline rush!
How can people get started in skiing, at any age?
The only advice I would give to a beginner is just to have fun! It’s never too early to start skiing.
What advice would you give to readers who want to get involved with the sport?
It is important to practise the sport you love. You also need the passion that will fuel all your efforts and commitments. The beauty of the sport is that you can embrace the nature and go through many experiences with a group of friends.
What is your favourite memory about the sport?
My favourite memory of skiing is that it was a family activity, with my parents, my brother and my sister. The best moment for me was when we were done skiing for the day, headed back to the cottage and cozied up in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate in hands.
How often do you go skiing with your family?
When I was younger, I would ski on every weekend in the winter! I unfortunately do not go skiing as much anymore, since I retired from sport. The new life and work makes it more difficult to find free time.