Natalie Thomas, staff writer
March 24, 2011 — Alexandre Bilodeau instantly became a Canadian icon on February 14, 2010, when he became the first ever Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on home soil. Since then, he has continued to succeed on the world stage. The Weather Network spoke with Alex about growing up in Canada, helping the environment and what he remembers about the weather during the Vancouver Olympics.
So tell me, where did you spend most of your childhood?
I grew up in Rosemère, Quebec and lived there until I was 18. Every weekend my family and I went to St. Sauveur to ski. Now I live in Montreal.
What stands out to you about growing up there?
Rosemère is a nice, quiet suburb of Montreal. It was a great place to grow up.
A lot of Canadians say that the weather is often different now than what they remember growing up. Is that the case for you too?
It seems like there is less snow now than when I grew up building snow castles in my backyard.
We know that you enjoy mogul skiing, but what were your other favourite summer and winter activities?
In summer, roller hockey. And in winter, skiing (of course!) and hockey.
How does the weather where you live now compare to where you grew up? Do you find there is a difference?
Pretty much the same, I'm very close to where I grew up.
Finish this sentence for us: “You might be in Canada if…”
…you wear a toque and you love skiing, hockey and poutine!
Tell us, what is something “Canadian” you'd want to export to the rest of the world?
The kindness of Canadians. I have been overwhelmed by how nice Canadians are and I really notice it when I come home after travelling abroad.
What do you do personally to contribute to a ‘green’ lifestyle?
I recycle and am careful about how I use electricity and water.
If you could do something radical or extreme to benefit the environment, what would it be?
Stop the waste of fresh water.
For most Canadians, the ski season comes to an end with the arrival of summer. How does your training routine change during each of the four seasons?
It doesn't actually change that much because I can ski almost year-round on glaciers around the world. During the summer and fall I train at Blackcomb, in Argentina and in Switzerland. In the winter and spring I compete around North America, Asia and Europe.
Describe the ideal weather conditions you'd want to experience when competing in a moguls skiing race.
A good firm (but not icy) base, with a foot of fresh and dry snow on top.
The weather was a big topic of conversation here in Canada and around the world during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. What do you remember most about the conditions?
Pretty warm conditions, and pouring rain for the women's moguls event at Cypress. But then it got beautifully sunny for a lot of the Games. Couldn't ask too much more from Vancouver, the city of rain.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison