Golden boy not family's best skier

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — Alexandre Bilodeau is an Olympic moguls champion and already a Canadian sporting legend, but the Montreal athlete said that he’s not even the best skier in his family.

In fact, Bilodeau said on Monday that he wouldn’t be surprised to see his younger sister, Beatrice, stand on the top podium at an Olympic Games in the not so distant future.

“Right now at the same age, at 16, she’s beating all my records,” said Bilodeau, who became the first Canadian ever to win a gold medal on home soil on Sunday at Cypress Mountain. “I won the national junior championship at 15, she won it at 14. She’s beating everything I do by a year.”

Beatrice Bilodeau has been on the national development team for one season and is the 2009 Canadian series Champion, as well as the 2007 and 2008 Canadian junior Champion. She has already competed in a World Cup, earlier this season in Lake Placid, N.Y.; trained and acted as a forerunner on the Cypress Olympic course and may compete in one of the remaining World Cups this season, perhaps the March 6-7 competition in Inawashiro, Japan, along with her brother.

“(Beatrice) will probably be there 2014 in Sochi (Olympics),” said Alex Bilodeau. “She’s one of the big hopes for Canada, along with Chloe Dufour-Lapointe.”

Dufour-Lapointe, 18, finished fifth in the women’s moguls final on Saturday, with Bilodeau’s “other sister”, Jenn Heil, winning the silver.

Bilodeau acknowledged that his gold medal will automatically put more pressure on Beatrice.

“Obviously sometimes it’s hard for her,” he said. “Sometimes a lot of people compare (us). But I will always be there for her, to push her and support her.

“She’s a great talent and she’s very, very tenacious,” Canadian Freestyle Association CEO Peter Judge said of Beatrice. “She has a good work ethic and those are the things you truly want in an athlete. You can always find athletes with talent. But what you need is a good talent with a phenomenal work ethic. And in their family, that’s something that’s inbred, and that’s a great credit to his parents.”

Bilodeau’s entire family, Beatrice, his older brother Frederic, along with his dad Serge and mother Sylvie Michaud, were at Cypress when he won his gold. Alex dedicated the gold to Frederic, who suffers from cerebral palsy, but is still able to ski.

“He can do a lap from top to bottom at St. Sauveur, my hill back home, without falling. It’s pretty unbelievable. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up,” said Alex.

“He has so much perseverance, there’s no limit to him,” Bilodeau added. “I think you could say, I’m the body, but he’s the mind.”

Despite his historic feat on Sunday, Bilodeau insisted that his gold medal will be no greater than any other gold won by a Canadian in Vancouver, though he was still on cloud nine yesterday, less than a day after winning.

“I can’t find the way to describe it,” he said. “It feels like I won a lottery.

“Maybe I’ll be in Trivial Pursuit one day,” Bilodeau added, with a laugh.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

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