Interview: Justine, Chloe & Maxime Dufour-Lapointe

From the interview archives.

How much, if at all, do you feel sibling rivalry played in your efforts to pursue sports as kids? 

Maxime: I’d say that I never really felt sibling rivalry. For us, everything was about having fun, it was about playing together. If anything, we were competitive, but in a good way. We sort of pushed each other. So if I saw Chloé do a 360 on the slopes before me and I just said, “Oh I want to do it to,” so it was more of a positive thing. 

Justine: I think our mom just always taught us that our performance was our own and we cannot blame our sisters for beating us at a race; it is an individual sport so they only person that you have to blame is yourself. And I think that was really really clear when we were first starting at 8 years old, you know? I think for now it’s just been so normal…. and we thought the inverse actually; why not use that force of being the 3 of us in the same sport to push each other to be better on our own career?     

You all encourage each other to succeed in your respective trials, but do you feel that you desire to see each other succeed puts added pressure on your own selves when you’re competing?

Justine: We’re really close to each other. For us, I think, we love each other so much and we care when one of us is not doing so well. Of course, it is an emotional sport so seeing the other not doing so well is really hard sometimes, but we still have to focus on ourselves because it’s our goals and we have to focus on ourselves first. 

Chloé: I would say that when we compete we are kind of alone in the gate, it’s all our performance, so we [only] know the result when everyone is done. We try to make the most respectful vibe for [each other]. I think it’s our strength to have a good connection and help each other during training. But while we’re competing we’re all focused on our self. 

Maxime: I think one good example is when we all stood on the podium in January 2016; Chloé and I did our run and knew that we were 1st and 2nd and there was only Justine left to ski. We were just thinking, “bring it home and just do your run Justine,” and she did. Throughout that day, it’s funny because we all had a moment where we thought, “Wow it might be possible that all three of us would be on the podium,” and what we did was just let that thought go and keep our focus on what we had to do which is just technical stuff and mental preparation so that we were fully ready to perform. That’s something that was magic that day, that we all knew we were chasing that dream, that goal and I think in the end it was a strength.    

What is the most challenging part about keeping up with your training regimes?

Maxime: That’s a good question. I would say training is sort of our lifestyle. This is how we live. Everything goes around training and recuperation, recovery, and eating. Now, we’re in habits of doing so, but throughout the years the challenge was about creating the habit, of eating a certain way and training in the morning and then resting; going at it every day because we train 6 days a week is challenging in itself. You wake up and your body hurts, and sometimes you don’t feel like going hard at the gym, but being three of us, you see your sister be very energetic that day and you’re inspired to do so yourself. That [really] helps. 

Maxime, how has your hip surgery recovery been going? Are you feeling better these days? 

Maxime: My hip is doing fine, it’s great actually. It’s been one year now since I had surgery and it was very well needed surgery because of the pain I had the year before. Now that’s all gone. Skiing moguls this year was … I still had some pinches, but it was normal since I didn’t have much time to heal. Today I’m fine, I can do everything I was doing before and not feel any pain. I did miss a little bit of time to be ready for the games but I wouldn’t change what I did. I learned so much about how to take care of myself doing physio and eating differently so it was a great journey.

What are your favourite hills to ski, of all that you have?

Chloé: I think one of the best training place that I like to go is in Zermatt. It’s the last training camp of the year, it’s in Switzerland. The lifestyle over there is just amazing. We go on the hill to train – quite a steep hill – there’s some difficulties because of the wind, sometime  it can be super snowy one day and super icy the other day because of the wind. But it’s just so beautiful to ski out there. After training, we go down the hill, we have a lunch, a nap, another training [session] and we go to the grocery [store]. It’s the day that when we go to bed we’re just so tired, and it’s all over just perfect.  

Is there somewhere you haven’t had an opportunity to ski yet that is on your bucket list?

Maxime: I would love to do heli-skiing out west or even in Alaska. Just big mountain skiing with guided tours.

Justine: I think for myself, the thing is, we ski around the world, but we always ski the same hill, the same 200m of mogul. I think for me, I would just go back to Europe in France and ski Mont Blanc and really have the time to ski the beautiful french alps. 

Justine, what has been the most profound lesson you’ve learned from your older sisters?

Justine: This is a big question! I think, what’s so funny is that, I learn a lot from my sisters and from both of their different strengths. I think, patience, from Maxime; clearly she’s our older sister, the caring older sister, and she’s just so strong and inspiringly patient. She’s a hard worker and I think that’s what I really appreciate and am inspired by from Maxime. For Chloe, I’m really inspired by her… she’s a woman of heart, she’s someone that believes in trusting yourself and trusting your heart. And that’s something that I really try to do even though I’m maybe not like her, but I try to inspire myself from that.

Who are your respective favourite athletes to watch?

Justine: I really enjoy UFC. Watching George St. Pierre was really something cool. I’ve always loved watching his matches. He’s an incredible athlete, a hard worker. It’s always nice to watch him. And we love to watch all the other Olympians when we’re at the Olympics. It’s just so exciting to watch your teammates. Knowing that you ate breakfast the last morning [with Olympians] because you’re in the same building talking about many other things other than competitions, but you know the next day you’re competing, so that was really impressive for the last couple months when we were in PyeongChang. 

Chloé: As a kid when I first got started in mogul skiing I got inspired a lot by Jennifer Heil. I was watching the world cup and I saw her do a 360 grab and I was like, this is where I want to be, this is what  I want to do. As Justine said, we just love watching other athletes. Maybe we understand, or we want to know even more about what they’re going through to make their performance happen. I’m really open to getting inspired and learn new stuff from other athletes. This is the best part that I love. It was really nice to hear from other athletes [at the Olympics] and just watch their performances.

What do you think is one thing that sets you three apart from other athletes? 

Chloé: I think the difference for the three of us is that we have sisters on the tour. Sometimes it doesn’t go the way you wanted it to go or it goes the way you wanted it to go and you just want to share with the people that you really trust and really care. You can tell each other the truth and I think that is one of our strengths. We help each other, we raise each other [up] to make the best of each other. 

Maxime: In all honesty, I don’t think there is anything that sets us apart from other athletes other than like Chloe said, we are travelling together; that is really a massive plus. For having seen and having friends who are all Canadian athletes, we’re all dedicated, we love what we do, we do it with professionalism, respect and passion so, we’re just girls that went all in to their sports and lucky enough to be together to do it.   

Chloé, I know you are an aspiring designer, how would you describe your sense of style and who is one designer you are particularly fond of?

Chloé: Yes, I’m really a fan of fashion, I love design. I would say my style is romantic. I would say I’m a romantic person, I love flowers and light. If it’s modern there will be a sense of feminism and sophistication. I really love Chanel for all their nice cuts and they all have something really feminine. As well as Dior. I love the texture they use, what they use as the material, it’s just beautiful.

During particularly stressful periods in your lives, how do you refocus and regain your energy for your athletic responsibilities?

Justine: We have actually been working with sports psychologists for 6 years, maybe even more, and for us we’re really open about it and grateful for it. It opened our eyes about what’s going inside our heads when we’re competing, when we’re skiing, and actually it’s so simple. It’s come back to basics which is ‘stay in the moment.’ Staying in the moment seems way too simple, but it’s really hard to be in that moment every single day when competing, while training, while going to the gym, even though it’s been every day. Being 100% there and not thinking about ‘tomorrow I have this meeting with this sponsor’ or ‘oh my god if I win this race that will give me a spot to the olympic games’. So really our best tip is to bein the moment and be really 100% there and I think that’s what gives me and my sisters and edge while competing and train ourselves to be better athletes and performers. 

You were all very open about your mother’s cancer, how do you feel making that information public was helpful to you in that time?

Maxime: We learned about it in January 2017. It was a shock. We had never experienced cancer in our family before. Our mom was a healthy, active person; she ate well, she never smoked and yet she was diagnosed with lung cancer. So it was a big surprise. We were on tour at the time, we were in Toronto on a layover. Things were less than perfect, let’s put it this way, we didn’t know where it was going to go. We knew it was going to be a rough fight. We were focused on going to the world championships at the end of the season. It was very hard mentally and emotionally for us. It caught up with us that summer. At the same time,  we also got news that she was getting better, so we thought okay let’s just focus back on skiing and when the season came around we just felt that we had a brick inside of us, because we didn’t tell anybody. When we finally talked about it in Tremblant this year it was such a big relief. We were ready to talk about it, and it just felt so good to finally say what was going on in our life. It helped us going towards the Olympics and performing a lot more lightly.  

What is one thing each of you would do if starting tomorrow you had a full year off of work/sport?

Chloé: If I wouldn’t ski or work for a year, I would probably do a bit of school to know more about fashion and marketing of fashion. I would for sure travel [to] a warm place; in the winter we normally are in a cold place. I would probably go to California or Hawaii, just to have my feet in the sand and do some surfing and just chill in a warm place. 

Maxime: I’d love to travel warm places like Chloe said. But just for fun I would try to do more horsebacking riding, [its] something I love, and for me it’s just another passion.

Justine: Working on our company. I would love to put more effort and time into it. I love photography and travel as well. We have the chance to travel every year through world cups but I really think I would like to spend more times in those amazing places and discover more behind the scenes. And of course being more in the hot sand compared to the snow since we always travel to cold places!

How would you want to spend a weekend retreat of relaxation?

Justine: Wow, something that is so rare! For me, retreat and relaxing come from the beach. I love to go on vacation where it’s hot, sleep on the beach, hear the waves. We love to go for weekend surf trips and for me this is really relaxing. A big one for us in our family is going on our family sailboat. My parent’s sailboat is on the Lake Champlain in the U.S and it’s so relaxing. It’s so calm to be on the boat where your phone doesn’t work so much and you just feel the waves and you know you’re not on the ground anymore. You really feel a disconnect and this is something really magical about the sailboat and I’ve never found that anywhere else.

Maxime: I love going to the spa with my girlfriends and one other thing I love to do, because we ski a lot, we have a cottage in Laurentian. It’s a small cottage on a lake, but it’s quiet there and being in the forest near water, for me, is the best combo for total relaxation.

What songs hype you up for your competitions? 

Chloé: I love listening to pop music, something that’s going to make me dance a little bit, forget about my stress and everything and enjoy the moment. In Sochi it was “This Moment” from Katy Perry and I love “The Man” from Aloe Blacc. I love good lyrics that fit with my mood and some positive vibes. 

Justine: I’m really more on the classic side, which is like “Eye of the Tiger.” Big classic music, old rock-sporty fighter songs. I loved “Roar” from Katy Perry; this was iconic for me. When there was a moment of struggle I listened to that and I refocused myself on my tiger and my fire inside of me. Classic ones always help. 

Maxine: I think I’m a bit of both of my sisters. I make a playlist of all the songs that really make me shiver, that gets to me. Sometimes it’s intense beats, sometimes it’s more low key. It’s the lyrics that get me. I put my playlist on shuffle so I don’t decide what plays and I get really hyped on that.

What’s your focus right now and what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Maxime: I think it’s no secret, we’ve launched a necklace. We are starting this business about our love for fashion and the first thing we wanted to do was put our logo onto something and Chloe had the idea to make a minimalist necklace. The logo is something we worked on for a few months because we wanted to agree and represent ourselves really well. It all started with our mom who said when we were young, together when you join forces you form a triangle and a triangle is a structure of support so nothing can break a triangle. So we worked with a triangle and we ended up with three-different sizes [of] triangle, blended together and united in the center to represent our strength and unity. We saw it we thought “it’s so beautiful, let’s make something out of it.” 

Justine: It’s been such a big year, 2018, a big chapter of our lives have been closed because our lives have always been scheduled by 4 year plans. Now this 4 years is done, so now we are focusing on what our next 4 years will be. I think for us it was really important for us to start this business, it’s our little baby, our first merchandise. It was important for us to do it after the games so that we can finally say our fans, our best supporters, can have a piece of us, something we created ourselves. Yesterday we took all our Sunday to pack our jewelry, we packed 500 necklace, all day! We asked our grandparents to help us, it’s really a family business. 

My passion for skiing is still there, and my goal would be to do something for myself. I mean, do new jumps for myself, and get to that next level and change my technical and refocus on something new and put all my energy into that.

Chloé: Like my sisters said, for sure we hope to grow the jewelry company, [add] more styles, that go with the classic logo necklace we just launched.

On the skiing side, adding some new jumps that we do, just scaring myself during some training because I like to go out of my comfort zone to progress. This year is the world championship which is nice that it’s close to home. I’m really excited for this competition, it’s the most important one after the Olympics. Improving jumps and keep improving speed.

So, we’re going to be really occupied, but it’s good ‘cause it’s a fun project and it’s a family project.

Maxime: The business is going to take a lot of my time but I’m looking at different options, I’ve applied to some university’s. I’m taking some time before I decide whether to keep going or not. Like Justine said, we work by 4 years and now it’s the end of a big cycle and it’s time to just take time to rest, to think, and really look at what we want to do. So I’m taking some time off. I think a lot of opportunity lies ahead and that’s very exciting. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s