Why are Quebecers doing better than other Canadians in Sochi?

Sisters Maxime, Chloe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe (left to right). Justine took gold and Chloe took silver in women's moguls in Sochi.
Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadian athletes added to the medal count today in Sochi, but it wasn't enough to maintain first place in the standings.

The latest two medals for Canada came in the first-ever women's slopestyle final — 19-year-old Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont. won gold, while Quebec City's Kim Lamarre won bronze.

Canada now stands with nine medals — four gold, three silver and two bronze.

Only Norway, with 11 medals, has more.

Among the nine winning athletes, six of them are from Quebec, and Quebecers account for three out of the four golds.

And three out of our four gold medals, were also won by Quebec athletes.

So why are Quebecers faring better so far than athletes from elsewhere in the country so far?

"I don't think there's any one factor, I think there are a lot of factors to explain why Quebec athletes have success," says Scott Livingston, a strength conditioning coach with B2Ten, who works with moguls gold medalist Alex Bilodeau.

He says funding is part of the story.

"The government puts a lot more money into sport in Quebec than in some other provinces," Livingston says, "and you see the derivative benefits of that over time."

Livingston also says the province embraces the culture of amateur sports more than anywhere in Canada.

"People love their amateur sports here. There's so much more coverage here in newspapers and radio and TV, and that also excites and drives our athletes."

In 2013, Quebec invested $2.6 million dollars in amateur sports, compared to just $159,000 in Alberta.

This year in Sochi, Quebecers account for close to 40 percent of Canada's athletes.

And at the 2010 Vancouver Games, eight of the 15 individual medals won by Canadians were won by Quebecers.

Meanwhile, in Quebec City, International Relations Minister Jean-François Lisée was asked about Quebecers' success in Russia, and was quick to take his share of the credit.

"Some of the success of the athletes are tied to Quebec government's help of elite athletes in Quebec," he says. "But also, there's a tremendous community support for the athletes, and generations, now, of models to fall back on."

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  1. Drew posted on 02/11/2014 04:25 PM
    Take share in the credit. These Canadians who live in Quebec worked there fingers to the bone to get there. The hours of practice and perspiration got them to the Olympics is outstanding. The government always wants a piece of the pie. Our athletes are execellent whether they come first or last it is a moment they will not forget they represented their country in the Olympics.
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