Free skating: Philippe Marquez returns home

After three years in exile in Colorado where he learned his new career, Philippe Marquez returns home to coach the Canadian freestyle ski team.

The double Olympian had several options on the table, but the prospect of returning to Quebec with loved ones and with the national team turned the tables.

“I received great offers from France, Australia and the United States in different roles, but the opportunity to join the Canadian team was at the top of the list,” he said, explaining his selection. For a few years I was expatriate and nomadic, and would find a better balance in life. »

“I will be closer to my family and friends. I am getting older [33 ans] And I’m thinking about starting a family,” continued the skater who won 13 medals at the World Cup including two golds between 2012 and 2019.

Marquez will join Michelle Hamlin and Jim Schiemann among the three coaches of the Canadian national team. “My role is not decided yet, but I am a very positive guy who will bring energy to the group,” said the man who signed the four-year agreement. My arrival comes at a good time with the start of a new Olympic cycle. We can go back to basics and prepare for 2026 and 2030. I want to get Canada back on track. »

looking for fun

If he shares the assessment of former coach and athlete Dominique Gautier, who passed the national team in the wreck with the exception of Michael Kingsbury a few days before the Tremblant World Cup last January, Marquez believes Canada has the tools to reclaim its place at the helm of the dominant nations.

“I totally agree with Dominic,” he said. For two or three years, the team’s momentum and mistrust ran out. The pandemic has severely affected sport in Canada. Our athletes need confidence, fun and commitment. »

“I have no doubts that Canada can become a global power again,” Quebec added. There is a lot of history and talent. It won’t be in a few months, but we have to find the passion and the fire to set ourselves up for 2026 and 2030.”

Example to follow

Marquez gives the example of an acrobatic jump team that is back on track after crossing the desert for ten years.

“They have hit rock bottom and now have many athletes who enjoy international success. For our part, we are not at the bottom of the barrel, but there is work to be done to find ourselves at the top of the pyramid.”

After returning from Colorado for 24 hours, where he led the Vail Club, Marquez will not waste time. He will join the team’s best prospects in the final week of camp at Whistler in the coming days.

Affected by injuries, Laurent Dumais suspends his sled

Laurent Dumais, free skater

File photo, Martin Chevalier

Laurent Dumais, free skater

It’s time to retire for Laurent Dumais.

After sustaining numerous injuries during his career, including a herniated disc that caused him to miss World Cup events before the holiday break, but didn’t stop him from qualifying for the Beijing Olympics, Duma decided to listen to his body.

He concluded: “My recent injury was a very clear message that it was time to stop.” After the games, I felt so hard to keep going, but then realized it was time for me to stop. Even though it’s going in the right direction, my back still bothers me. Several injuries have multiplied over the years and I feel like that. »

“It’s a huge achievement to be able to qualify for the Games and I’m happy to experience that, continues Dumais, but it wasn’t a factor in my decision to quit.”

So many pitfalls

Rarely has Dumais been easy. “I haven’t had an easy journey, I admit, but I’m proud of the journey I took. I never gave up. I hurt myself a lot during the season and had to come and go back often. I grew up and learned from all these experiences.”

“Few people can live the sporty lifestyle,” adds the 26-year-old hard worker. I am so grateful that I was able to do all these trips and all the encounters. »

The owner with his girlfriend, Dumais has just been accepted for a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He will begin his undergraduate studies in Laval this fall.

Aware of the appointment of Philippe Marquez to the coaching staff, Dumas believes that the Canadian team has made a very good choice. “He makes me put a little bit of pressure in my heart to leave when I could have worked with him,” he said. I would have liked it. Philip is a good human who understands all aspects of our sport. His arrival is very good news for Canadian free skating.”

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