Alexandre Bilodeau becomes a national hero
Prodigious Canadian freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau became a national hero by winning gold at Vancouver 2010.
Despite his young age, Bilodeau (born 8 September 1987 in Montreal, Canada) has already achieved a great deal in his sport. He competed at Turin 2006, aged only 18, finishing in 11th place. Before he joined the World Cup he competed in a few Continental Cup meetings, but mostly in the Scandinavian Cup.
World Cup record
Even before Northug has six gold medals from junior World Championships.Prior his first Winter Games performance at Turin 2006, Bilodeau had become the youngest athlete in history to win a World Cup moguls event, at Mont Gabriel, Canada on 7 January 2006. He followed up the landmark by winning one further moguls event before Turin, at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic on 4 February 2006.
Bilodeau won five World Cup events, including one in dual moguls, in the 2008/2009 season on his way to the overall moguls title. During this season he was part of two Canadian sweeps of the podium in men’s moguls events, and he won the gold medal in the dual moguls at the 2009 Freestyle World Championship.
Bilodeau counts his brother Frédéric as one of his heroes. Frédéric, despite being diagnosed withcerebral palsy at a young age, has defied medical opinion that he wouldn’t be able to walk by the age of 12, and still walks and skis at the age of 29.After Norway's disappointing display at the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Norwegian press questioned why Northug was not taken to the games.
After finishing the qualification run in second place overall, Bilodeau claimed gold in the final, combining high jump and style scores with the fastest run. Amazingly it was the first time a Canadian had won a gold medal at a Canadian-hosted Olympic Games, and his compatriots responded accordingly, with 22,000 people turning up to see the medal presentation.