The three Dufour-Lapointe sisters have a lot to be excited about. They will ski moguls together, at the Olympic Winter Games, and make some history whether they win medals or not.
Sochi will be the first time three siblings have competed for Canada in an individual Olympic Winter event. And even more important: Justine, Chloé and Maxime are also the strongest moguls team going into the Games. All of them are ranked in the World Cup top-5. Not your ordinary sibling competition. Sort of makes Mario Kart in your living room seem a lot less intense. Even if someone throws a controller.
The joy when you speak with them is palpable. They have effusive smiles. Their voices are soaked with passion for skiing and pride at being Canadian Olympians.
Maxime, the oldest at 24, explains this, “The Canadian team is so strong, many other athletes could have made the team. We are so proud to be a part of such a strong team and we want to represent Canada the best we can, and we want to make Canada proud. I feel privileged to have been chosen.”
Based on results, Maxime was the closest to missing the team. Qualification came down to the final World Cup stop before the official team announcement, barely 24 hours later. It will be her first Games. Middle sister Chloé was the only one who qualified back in 2010, she’ll be the Olympic veteran among her sisters, “I really hope to help my sisters. From my experience, I know it’s a big event. I’m going to be there to calm them down because it is really stressful. I’m pretty excited to be all together. The Dufour-Lapointe strong team is going to be at the Olympics, the result is in the hands of the judges.”
And 19-year-old Justine, who is the least shy in front of the camera, has learned a lot from her older sisters. She is currently sitting on the Dufour-Lapointe throne, second in World Cup standings chasing 2010 Olympic Champion, Hannah Kearney.
Justine seems to approach the sister experience in the context of performance, “When you are thinking about the Games you are thinking about yourself. At the top I won’t be alone, I will be there with my two sisters and I’m so happy that they will be there. We will be together and pushing ourselves. It’s such a big event and really stressful but I think because we’ll stick together we will be stronger.”
Johanne Dufour was at a Montreal press conference to see her daughters named to the team. It was there that she said what everyone was thinking, “ I don’t want to imagine what it would’ve felt like to leave one of them behind. Fortunately, I don’t have to think about it,” she says.
And on fostering the Olympic journey, “You need to believe. The effort came from the girls, we just supported them, they created their own path.”
And now that road arrives at Sochi 2014. As a group of athletes, and a team of sisters, their goal is simple. “Do the run of our lives when we hear 3-2-1 go,” says Maxime, “Finish, and be excited about it.”
WHO: Maxime, Chloé and Justine Dufour-Lapointe; Audrey Robichaud
WHAT: Women’s moguls
Qualification 1 on Thursday, February 6th at 9:00 am ET / 6:00 am PT
Qualification 2 and Finals on Saturday, February 8th at 9:00 am ET / 6:00 am PT