One of Canada’s early Olympic heroes is Alexandre Bilodeau, who defended his Vancouver gold medal win at the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Monday February 10. The 26 year old freestyle skier from Montreal became the first Canadian to defend an Olympic gold medal in the same event since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Once the medal ceremony was complete, Alex was quickly joined by his older brother Frederic, who was cheering his brother on from the sidelines during the ski run. The two brothers embraced, and Alex pulled his brother over the fence to share the victory.
Frederic was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when they were young boys, and Alex says the reality of the situation serves as his inspiration to compete for both of them in the Olympics.
“I learn a lot from him and he inspires me. It helps me keep things in perspective.”
Canadian families watching the embrace may have noticed that Frederic had trouble standing up next to his brother. According to Alex, Frederic’s condition has deteriorated since the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 – something he tearfully admitted was hard to watch his brother live with each day.
Having defended his Olympic title, Alex intends to retire as a professional skier to pursue a lifelong career back home. He says Frederic is very supportive of his decision, and that his positive attitude is a big inspiration for Alex to fulfill dreams outside of skiing.
“He will encourage me in anything I do. He’s the same with my sister. He won’t let up. That’s my brother, the happy camper who motivates us every day.”
The two brothers are expected to spend another week in Sochi to participate in the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Once everything is concluded, the family will return home to Montreal.