Gatineau skier wins Nor-Am slalom event

Simon Fournier grew up skiing the hills at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Qc. and knows how to win.

Thursday afternoon, the 21 year old, who has suited up for Canada on the international stage, defeated 107 other skiers from North America and Europe. Fournier said the secret to success was skiing hard out of the gate.

"Full gas from the point and see how it goes. Ski solid and just cherish the whole thing." said Fournier.

The victory was Fournier's third in six races this season; and first with his mother looking on.

"Wow - that's so exciting for him! The few last weeks were very good for him so we're happy." said Danielle Menard.

Fournier said support from loved ones and the familiar terrain gave him the edge he needed.

"Having them around is that little extra support you know and you can actually showcase what you're doing is really cool."

The season's North-American series champion will earn a spot on the World Cup circuit. This week, skiers from Austria, Chile and Norway will compete in several disciplines including the dual slalom; which debuts in North America Saturday at Mount Ste. Marie. The new event will debut at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

"Give me a couple of years and I'm there." said Aage Solheim.

Patrick Biggs competed in two Olympic games including 2006 in Turin, Italy. He said the debut of dual slalom will help attract new fans and skiers to the sport.

"It's great for the viewers, if you're not an experienced ski racer, you can visually see how much faster and what mistakes do to your time." said Biggs; who serves as program director at Camp Fortune.

Fournier won the slalom event with a total time of 1:35:12. Americans Luke Winters and Garret Driller rounded out the podium.