When Justine et Chloé Dufour-Lapointe won Canada's first olympic gold and silver medals of the Sochi games yesterday, screams of joy could be heard all the way back in Montreal.
"Everybody in my room was ecstatic", declared Justine, Chloé and their sister Maxime's trainer, Paul Gagné. "There was a mix of screaming and jumping.
It felt like the accomplishment of something we'd been working on for the last 11 years."
Gagné is a Montreal trainer that has been working with the three girls since they were teenagers. For him, seeing Justine and Chloé win gold and silver respectively in the moguls competition was a milestone, but not a surprise.
"People would ask me for my prognostic and I'd tell them : 'Check their world rankings.' They were already ranked numbers 2, 3 and 5 in the world.
Even the possibility of them finishing numbers 1, 2 and 3 [at the Olympics] was very plausible," the trainer concluded.
Training like hockey players
If you think a mogul skier's training regimen is reasy, think again.
In the Dufour-Lapointe's case, it took an NHL player training regimen to win the top two spots of their olympic discipline.
"They actually train with NHL hockey players, Their training partners are NHLers like Marc-André Fleury, Marco Scandella, Milan Michalek, Martin Havlat and all those boys", Gagné told CJAD with a laugh.
The exercises were certainly excruciating at times, and the trio sometimes questionned why they were training like hockey players rather than freestyle skiers.
Their trainer says the answer came seconds after their final descent at Sochi.
"Because they trained as hockey players rather than skiers, the girls have a super level of fitness.
The first thing that Chloe and Justine told me when they called me last night was : 'Coach, thank you, our legs weren't even hurting [after the race]."
Extremely difficult race
Freestyle skiers may make mogul skiing look easy. But in reality, the mogul course in Sochi is every but.
Actually, the three sisters admitted to their trainer that it may have been the most difficult race they've ever completed.
"[Sochi organizers] made it like the US Open for golf", Gagné told CJAD.
"I don't know if it was colder than normal, but when the girls called me a day before the race, they told me [the course] was like a hybrid of Calgary, one of the toughest hills of the circuit, and Val Saint-Côme, that is really icy and steep."
Gagné did admit that it's normal for olympic courses are more difficult than your average run in ordre to make sure that "it's really the cream of the crop that wins the race."