Last week at Le Relais, Victor Primeau was somewhat disappointed with his performance in the Nor-Am aerials event. However, he soon found an opportunity to turn things around.
On March 3 and 4, the 19-year-old was simply unbeatable, winning two gold medals in as many events at the same ski hill in Lac-Beauport. Earlier in the season, the Québécois had taken some time to make a few adjustments, but his recent performances have been impressive, much to the delight of his coach Nicolas Fontaine.
“Victor was really happy with his performances. He had two great days in a row. We decided to go with some easier jumps, but ones that he always performs flawlessly. He gave everything he had, and he was really proud,” explained the coach.
Despite his two wins on the weekend, Primeau was unable to join Connor Curran of the USA at the top of the season’s overall rankings. He therefore caps off the season in second place, with a big dose of confidence as he heads to the Junior World Championships, being held from March 29-31 in Obertauern, Austria.
Primeau’s teammates also made their marks in Lac-Beauport this past weekend. On Friday, Alec Haineault joined Primeau on the podium, winning silver in the same event. Gabriel Dion and Anthony Noël finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
The next day, Fontaine’s crew swept the podium, with Primeau in first place, followed by Pierre-Olivier Côté and Haineault. Côté’s second-place finish earned him a ticket to the Junior World Championships later this month.
“It’s really great to see these young Québécois performing so well. This was the first time this season that Canada owned the podium at the Nor-Ams. It’s a great accomplishment for our team,” said the coach.
“Pierre-Olivier has had a tougher season. His jumps have been good, but he has lacked a bit of consistency,” added Fontaine. “On Sunday, he performed his best jump in the final and finished second. It was a significant moment. It was a good weekend for him, too.”
In addition to Côté, Canada’s male representatives at the Junior World Championships will be Primeau, Haineault and Dion.
This weekend, Canadian women Rosalie Gagnon and Charlie Fontaine also stood out. Gagnon finished third in aerials on Friday, while Fontaine finished second on Saturday. Dani Loeb of the USA won gold in both events on the weekend.
Gagnon and Fontaine will also represent Canada at the Junior World Championships.
More gold medals in Val Saint-Côme
The Nor-Am Circuit also made a stop in Val Saint-Côme this weekend, for the moguls event on Friday and the dual moguls on Saturday. Ashley Koehler and Quinn Dawson were the stars of the individual events, both winning gold medals.
Fresh from the Canada Games in Prince Edward Island, where she won gold in moguls, Koehler repeated the feat in Val Saint-Côme on Friday, clinching the gold medal in a hotly contested Nor-Am final, her second victory of the season.
“I’m so proud of myself. I put a lot of time and effort into my skiing, so I’m really happy that it’s paying off. The Nor-Am is huge for me. I still can’t quite believe it,” said the gold medallist.
“Ashley is having a great season. We’re really happy for her. The final was really close, but she stood out for the quality of her turns, and her times are always among the best. She put a lot of pressure on the other girls, and that’s what made the difference,” said coach Philippe Marquis.
On the men’s side, Quinn Dawson claimed the top spot on the podium, accompanied by his compatriots Daniel Tanner (second) and Louis-David Chalifoux (third).
“It’s always great to see a Canadian sweep of the podium. Quinn is extremely fast. He comes out chomping at the bit every time he skis, and that worked to his advantage on Saturday. Daniel and Louis-David managed their runs very well. They played it smart to get onto the podium,” added Marquis.
In addition, Sam Cordell and Samuel Goodison finished fourth and sixth respectively, bringing the number of Canadian athletes in the Top Six on Friday to five.
Cordell was back on the podium again the next day, finishing second in the dual moguls event, just behind Asher Michel of the USA. Jessica Linton won bronze in the women’s event, defeating Kylie Kariotis of the USA in the small final.
“We’re putting more emphasis on the duals event, since it will be an Olympic event in 2026. It requires a lot of energy, and our athletes were excellent. Sam and Jessica’s medals were a great way to cap off the weekend on home turf,” concluded Marquis.
The Canadian skiers will now travel to Stratton, Vermont, for the final Nor-Am event of the season, which begins on Thursday.