By Michelle Pucci
It’s been a tumultuous year for the Montreal-born Dufour-Lapointe sisters.
Not even a year after Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe won gold and silver in moguls at the Sochi Olympics, Justine is now celebrating her latest accomplishment, a Freestyle World Champion title.
“I was really happy to perform well on that day at the right moment,” said Justine, 20, the youngest of the sisters. “I think it’s the whole process that makes me happy.”
The trio of freestyle skiers is still revelling in their Olympic win. With the biennial championship behind them, they’re focused on the ongoing World Cup tour and taking home the Crystal Globes.
“We’re still discovering the aftermaths of Sochi,” said Maxime, 25, the oldest sister credited with leading the way into skiing for the family. “Everyday you think it’ll start to calm down, and something new appears. We’re very lucky to be in that situation.”
When they’re not winning world titles on the slopes, Maxime, Chloé, 23, and Justine study Cégep à distance. Maxime graduated just last fall.
“It’s not easy, but at least I have something to carry on,” Justine said about studying a class at a time while competing.
“We’re not going to be skiing all our lives,” Maxime said.
Maxime says their number one priority for the four years leading up to the next Olympics will always be skiing and performing.
But Chloé hopes to take advantage of the calmer season this fall to study fashion at Cégep Marie Victorin without the championships, Olympics and other transitions to worry about.
“There’s so much stuff that’s not really stable right now,” she said about changing coaches and building a new home in Montreal West.
The entire family is in the process of moving from Rivière des Prairies to a new fourplex on Westminster. There, the sisters and their parents will balance living independently while remaining close as neighbours.
“It’s just because we’re working together,” said Chloé of maintaining a family-work dynamic. “Our mom and the three of us need to see each other once a day. It would be stupid if we spread out.”
Maxime compares it to childhood memories on her father’s sailboat. “When you’re on a boat, it’s not that big and you need to coexist,” she said.
They are all looking forward to the new scenery. Being closer to downtown, their gym and other skiing families are part of the perks of moving.
The sisters are also looking forward to a more financially stable year.
After the Olympics last year, Maxime, Chloé, Justine and their fellow Canadian skiers faced a shortage of funds. The Canadian Freestyle Association didn’t have enough to get its athletes through the end of the season.
“We were really on thin ice,” said Maxime. “That’s the big topic every year: are we going to be okay? Do we have enough sponsors?”
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