The fresh air of Lac-Etchemin and the family atmosphere gave wings to Marie-Michel Gagnon, who took place, Saturday in Austria, the best performance of her career on the slopes.
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Coming home during the holiday season for the first time in 15 years, Gagnon is back in action at the World Cup in Zauchensee, finishing fifth, 0.24 seconds off the podium.
“It really was the best birthday of my life,” said the 32-year-old skater. Before choosing speed events, I have always been in Europe during holidays for the past 14-15 years. I was really happy to be with my sisters and brothers who have young children. I did some shopping and they described me as a cute aunt. I renewed these house parties. »
Gagnon’s best downhill performance was seventh on February 26, in Val di Fassa, Italy.
love the place
The Kälberloch track in Gagnon has always smiled. “This is where I got my first World Cup victory, winning on aggregate in 2014 just before the Sochi Olympics,” she said. This is also where I picked up my first slop points as a curvy. It is a technical course where experience is important. The start is very sudden and it covers 0-115 kilometers in four seconds. The track has a 70 percent gradient at the start.
With her fifth place finish, Gagnon has an impressive feat in arms that few skaters can claim. “Now I have managed the top 5 in the 5 disciplines of alpine skiing [descente, super-G, slalom, slalom géant et combiné]. I’ve always told myself that I’m going to be a skater I’m going to do all the action. It wasn’t a goal for me to finish fifth in the five events when I started my career, but it’s an amazing achievement. »
Although she spent quality time with her family during the holidays, Gagnon found returning to Europe very difficult. “I was sick and lay on my back for a long time,” she said. “After coming into close contact with positive people, I thought I had COVID-19. Everyone was in Canada. I took dozens of tests, but they all came back negative. We’re talking about a big flu. I had a shot.” The November reinforcement may have helped me.”
“I didn’t train as well as I would have liked,” continued Gagnon, whose training base is in Italy. Things started going well again three days ago and I had some really good sessions in my workouts. »
Gagnon also approached the second half of the season in a new state of mind. “Instead of looking for results, I let them come in, I explained. Those who will test their third Olympics in February, in Beijing, after those in Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014). I was willing to do anything to get on the podium. I was following Sophia’s line [Goggia] Instead of relying on me and my coach’s feedback. I found my streak which is better. »
Winner of the gold medal in her first two events of the season at Lake Louise, in December, Italy’s Giugia fell off the track on Saturday.
Gagnon will return to his plate on Sunday, when Super-G is on the show. “Because of my arrangement, I have the number one bib, which no one wants. Although I have already qualified for the Games, I will be participating in all the races between now and my departure for Beijing on February 5th. There are stops at Cortina d’Ampezzo and Garmisch -Partenkirchen, two paths I like. It’s important that I step forward and gain confidence before the games.”
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