Justine Dufour-Lapointe didn’t want to give up
In the first wave of the women’s moguls final very early on Sunday for those watching from Canada Justine Dufour-Lapointe — a two-time Olympic medallist — stands at the summit of the slope. She starts her run. A well executed jump in the first section sends her with speed to the second section. Then on the second turn, catastrophe. It was a long, never ending fall, “Oh my god” she said in the kind of cry that will tear your heart in two.
However, this was not going to be the end of her journey in Beijing. After all, the Dufour-Lapointe sisters are no strangers to emotional moments and historic performances. On that slope today, Justine gave us a master class in pride and perseverance.
She gets back up after her fall and asks for help retrieving her second pole. She shuffles further up on the slope and takes a deep breath, looking up at the sky. There was no question, she was finishing her run.
At the bottom of the run she kept a smile on her face while waiting her results even with tears rolling down her cheek.
“My only option was to stay up and continue to ski even if it hurt”.
After spending a few moments with her sisters Chloé and Maxime, Justine Dufour-Lapointe graciously gave an interview to the media. Thanks to her sister Chloé who told her she had the choice to keep her head up and make sure she spoke from the heart.
On Day 2 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Justine gave an interview will remain one of the most powerful moments of this year’s Games. Her answers worthy of being written on the walls of our schools, gyms and even our desks at work.
“I needed to finish this Olympic dream on my two feet and make sure that each person watching tonight knows that beyond winning, beyond days like this, the most important thing is to never give up.”
Said Justine, the youngest of the Dufour-Lapointe. She made this choice not focusing on the standings, the score, or her performance. She wanted to send a clear message to everyone who was listening.
“Life is not always so easy. I want to make sure that back home, everyone knows that I will never give up. I fought so hard over the last four years to give you this Justine, who is ready to take risks and to ski with passion and dignity, and that is the only thing I did tonight. I fought, I never gave up.”
After her run, the skier from Montreal found comfort in the arms of her sisters. Maxime serving as one of the athlete mentors for Team Canada at the Olympic Village, she made the round trip by train to the moguls competition site to cheer on Chloé and Justine, who both qualified for the first women’s final.
“I’m so happy to have them both here with me tonight” said Justine. “They held me really tight and reminded me just how strong I can sometimes be.” In addition to the unwavering support from her family, Justine Dufour-Lapointe also felt uplifted by all of the fans who have cheered her on over the years, and especially during the Olympic Games. She had the following message for them.
“Thank you to everyone back home, I love you so much. I felt your support. You were here [in my heart] until the end.”