Wrapping up his career at Apex Mountain is a bonus for two-time Olympic gold medal winner Alex Bilodeau.
Bilodeau was in Penticton for the 2014 Canadian national championship held last weekend. The decorated freestyler announced his retirement earlier this season.
“I have come here since I was very young,” said Bilodeau, who won gold at the Sochi Olympics and ended his career winning gold at Apex Mountain. “This course is amazing.”
Bilodeau said it was special to watch Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe win gold and silver, respectively at the Sochi Olympics.
“It motivated us,” said Bilodeau, a three-time dual moguls world champion. “The whole experience in Sochi was very amazing.”
Heading into his gold-medal winning run in Sochi, Bilodeau said athletes work hard for four years to be ready for that moment. The only thing he thought about was what he needed to do.
“There was nothing else that mattered for me on that day,” he said.
Along with his two Olympic gold medals in what he said has been an amazing experience for his mogul skiing career, is his first world cup win in Quebec at age 18 and his last world cup victory this season.
“I couldn’t ask for a better run to finish my career,” said Bilodeau, 26, on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association website of the March 21 race. “My strategy was to have my double-full on top beat Mik’s and make sure I win the turn and jumps, but let him go for the speed. Today it worked. It was a really great duel. I started my career here in France, so it’s great to finish my world Cup career here with this victory.
“Last time performing at home in front of my crowd. Pretty magical day,” he said of Val St. Come, Que., in mid-January. “The races just before the Olympics. I’ve had so many good memories.”
What Bilodeau cherishes most is that he became the best skier he could have.
“That’s what I’m most proud of,” said Bilodeau. “I went to my full potential.”
A career in accounting and not becoming a mogul coach is next for him.
“I wouldn’t be a good coach. I know that,” said Bilodeau, adding he wouldn’t be a good coach for anybody. “You need to be so patient and listen. I don’t have these qualities.”