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Masters Minds: Motivating, ‘Part-Hardcore, Part-Fantasy’ APU Glacier Camp
Caption: 2014 APUNSC Masters Camp (L to R): Kathy Christy, Dan Libbey, Berit Flora, Coach Erik Flora, Sam Flora, Gavin Kentch, Coach Don Haering, Gil Lund, Coach Greta Anderson, Shannon Gramse. (Photo: Shannon Gramse/Flickr)

Caption: 2014 APUNSC Masters Camp (L to R): Kathy Christy, Dan Libbey, Berit Flora, Coach Erik Flora, Sam Flora, Gavin Kentch, Coach Don Haering, Gil Lund, Coach Greta Anderson, Shannon Gramse. (All photos: Shannon Gramse/Flickr)

Masters from around the world, we want to hear from you! FasterSkier is seeking dedicated masters contributors from various clubs and regions, including any and all skiers who aren’t quite pro or collegiate skiers anymore (or ever — as we know how many catch the bug later in life!) Whatever your level of skiing, if you can write, please do!

Submit camp or training recaps or announcements to info@fasterskier.com with the subject line “Masters Minds”. Articles can be informal, first-person accounts or written from an observatory standpoint with thoughts from others, like below.

***

The gods of American skiing have gathered on Eagle Glacier over the past few weeks, but July started off with a very different group of skiers at this world-class training facility 5,000 feet above Girdwood, Alaska.

From June 28 to July 1, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APUNSC) held its third-annual Masters Glacier Camp, hosting nine skiers ranging in age from their 30s to their early 70s. Skiers enjoyed outstanding coaching, good weather and excellent fresh summer snow over a few days that were part-hardcore training session, part-fantasy camp, part gathering of family and friends.

Helicopter service to and from Eagle Glacier above Girdwood, Alaska. (Photo: Shannon Gramse/Flickr)

Helicopter service to and from Eagle Glacier above Girdwood, Alaska.

Eagle Glacier is permitted by the U.S. Forest Service as a special use Olympic development facility, and while Pyeongchang may be decidedly out of reach for these nine older athletes, it could be argued that no group of Eagle Glacier skiers — this month or ever — will have more fun.

This year’s Masters Camp was coached by APUNSC mastermind Erik Flora, who was recently named U.S. Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year, and assisted by Don Haering and Greta Anderson, elite skiers turned APUNSC masters coaches.

“I’m a nothing-special recreational skier,” said APUNSC master skier Gavin Kentch. “To have access like that to the same facilities and coaching as the best skiers in the world is obviously something that you don’t get in other sports.”

Kentch, who at 32 was by far the youngest athlete at camp, saw immediate benefits from his time on Eagle Glacier. “I made more progress as a skier in just a few days than I would have thought possible.  I’ve been skiing nearly all my life, and skate skiing for over 20 years now.  In just a few days, we came up with some technique changes that bordered on the epiphanic.”

 “In just a few days, we came up with some technique changes that bordered on the epiphanic.” – Gavin Kentch, APUNSC master and Eagle Glacier camper

Coach Anderson said such epiphanies are by design. “Due to the camp environment we can share a lot of ideas and technique concepts with instant trial and feedback in a relatively short window of time,” she said.  “On Eagle we have nothing but time to discuss, share and implement technical improvements.

"The Stadium" on Eagle Glacier. (Photo: Shannon Gramse/Flickr)

“The Stadium” on Eagle Glacier

“It can be incredibly motivating after a month of ski walking/bounding and rollerskiing for the body to be reminded, ‘Oh hey, this is why we are bounding,’ ” Anderson continued. “That can be a really great boost in confidence and motivation. It’s also a great way to break up the summer training, give the joints a rest, and get in some high-quality skiing on challenging terrain in conditions that aren’t otherwise experienced in Alaska — which are relatively soft and wet or klister conditions.”

And ice the Gatorade-and-Geritol narrative.  Like the elites, summer on-snow training is an important step toward these skiers’ upcoming race seasons, including, collectively, the Norwegian and American Birkebeiners, the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, and highly competitive age-group rankings in local events such as the Tour of Anchorage and the Anchorage Cup race series. Then again, these athletes are a reminder that skiing at a relatively high level has its own intrinsic rewards.

More important in the end than race results is the active, outdoor lifestyle that undergirds one’s experience on race day, an ideology reflected by the APUNSC Masters Program goals: “to develop cross-country ski skills, improve fitness, and promote skiing in the community.”

The facilities at Eagle Glacier overlook the Chugach and Kenai mountain ranges. Photo: Shannon Gramse/Flickr)

The facilities at Eagle Glacier overlook the Chugach and Kenai mountain ranges. 

Compared to elite-glacier camps, Masters Camp was more individualized and less structured. As Coach Anderson put it, “Elite camps tend to be very structured and goal-oriented. In contrast, our camp for Masters this year was all about skiing many kilometers and learning as much as each individual desired. Whereas elite athletes tend to finish their recommended time skiing each day and head inside to recover for the next session, masters this year had four days to ski their legs off as much as they wanted.”

A typical day at glacier camp started with a big breakfast and instruction on waxing, structure, or technique, then a two-to-three hour skating session on the immaculately groomed 10 K course.

It snowed three feet on the glacier in June, so the skiing was fantastic, despite a relatively sparse winter and spring in Southcentral Alaska. After a tough morning of skating — elevation effects, big terrain and soft snow conspire to make glacier skiing especially exhausting — skiers returned to “The House” for lunch, naps, and World Cup videos while the indomitable coaches scrubbed the skate lanes and set track with the facility’s PistenBully 100 for a late afternoon red-klister classic ski session.  Athletes were free to ski at their own pace, for as long as they wished, and 40-50 k days were the norm.

“My main goal for the camp was just to get in a lot of time on snow,” said Kentch, “because of the self-evident training benefits, but mostly because I just really, really like to ski.  So I went in hoping to have a lot of fun skiing for a lot of hours.  I skied 12 hours in five sessions, and had a blast in the process, so I’d say it was a successful camp.”

Dessert on the glacier.

Dessert on the glacier

Evenings were filled with hearty family style meals, saunas and hours of stories and ski talk. The special sense of warmth and intimacy at this year’s camp had a lot to do with the presence of Flora’s parents, Sam and Berit, both internationally competitive ski marathoners, and longtime family friend and onetime Norwegian national-level racer Gil Lund. Tales from the trail and memories of races and ski trips of yore were intertwined with reflections on parenting, family, the passing of time and tradition.

“One of the best parts of the trip was just the chance to spend more time with my coaches and teammates,” said Kentch.

Coach Anderson echoed those feelings. “Master skiers generally have other things going on in life — jobs, families, home improvement projects, and cabins just to name a few. Sharing that really special period of time — a trip of a lifetime for some and a highlight in their year for others — is the greatest feeling,” she said.

***

About the Author: Shannon Gramse is a longtime member of APU Nordic Ski Center’s Masters Program. When he’s not skiing, he’s thinking about skiing while being a father and a husband and a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Boulder Nordic Jr. Team Seeks Head Development Coach, Assistant Coaches

The Boulder Nordic Junior Race Team

Positions Available: BNJRT Head Development Coach and Assistant Coaches

BNJRT logo

Boulder Nordic Junior Race Team (BNJRT) seeks candidates for Head Development Coach and Assistant Coaches. The Head Development Coach will be responsible for overseeing development of younger skiers (U14-U8) and assisting (and collaborating with) the Head Coach for older skiers (U20-U16). Assistant Coaches will primarily coach younger skiers with options to assist on race weekends. We seek coaches that are able to teach classic and freestyle techniques to athletes from 8-19 years old with varied skiing and athletic backgrounds and are able to find creative ways to integrate fun into training.

The Boulder Nordic Junior Racing Team is a Cross Country Ski Team for kids from 8-19 years old in Colorado’s Front Range. There are currently over 50 kids on the team. We provide a positive experience for kids who want to have fun while learning to ski fast. Skiers learn both skate and classical Nordic skiing techniques. Positive attitude and sportsmanship are stressed. Some team members seek high-level competition while others take a recreational approach to the sport and do not compete in races. The race season is centered around 4 race weekends sanctioned by Rocky Mountain Nordic in Colorado and Utah. Over the last two decades, many skiers from our team have competed at the national level.

Our season starts with Fall dryland training in and around Boulder. Older skiers train Mon-Thurs after school and younger skiers train Tues/Thurs. After a Thanksgiving Camp at West Yellowstone, we start our on-snow season at the Eldora Nordic Center, with occasional skiing in Boulder (when snow permits).  Older skiers practice after school Mon – Thurs.  Younger skiers practice Tues/Thurs.  All skiers practice Saturday morning 9-11am.

About BNJRT: http://www.bnjrt.net/

About Boulder: http://www.bouldercoloradousa.com/

About Eldora Nordic: http://www.eldora.com/nordic.trail.html

The Boulder Nordic Junior Race Team (Courtesy photo)

Bryan Fletcher to FIS: ‘New Organization Opens Us Up to New Sponsorship Possibilities’
Bryan Fletcher jumping last season.

Bryan Fletcher jumping last season. Fletcher recently told Nordic Mag that his team has officially teamed up with U.S.A. Ski Jumping in an effort to fundraise and promote its sport.

One of U.S. Nordic Combined’s leading men, Bryan Fletcher, 28, recently spoke with the the International Ski Federation (FIS) for a segment called Tuesday Talk about the state of his team. In April, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced it would cease funding his sport, which would go into effect on July 31 — next Thursday.

In the following interview with FIS, Fletcher explains how U.S. Nordic Combined recently joined forces with U.S.A. Ski Jumping.

***

Bryan Flecher, U.S. Nordic Combined and USSA athlete rep http://www.bryanfletcher.com

Bryan Flecher, U.S. Nordic Combined and USSA athlete rep (Photo: bryanfletcher.com)

FIS: After the season, you and your teammates received the difficult piece of news that there was a budget cut to come for the Nordic Combined athletes. How is the situation now, a couple of months later? 

Bryan Fletcher: The news was a bit shocking. I think we all expected budgets cuts especially after the Olympic year but to cut our entire program was a bit of a shock.  However, it only took us a moment to gather our thoughts and become motivated to rebuild and we have done that.

Today we are partnered with USA Ski Jumping, our new name will be “USA Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined.” There are some really cool projects that we will be collaborating on and we hope to bring to the table some extra help and collaboration in building an already impressive new organization. So to briefly answer the question we are looking much better then just a few short months ago.

FIS: Can you tell us a little bit more about the new structure that nordic combined in the USA will have

BF: The most exciting thing about this new organization is that it opens us up to new sponsorship possibilities. The Nordic Combined team was rather handcuffed when it came to sponsors because of non compete clauses with the U.S. Ski Team. Now with this new organization in place we can go after new partnerships that are exciting, and most of all relevant to our sport and demographic that we couldn’t partner with before.  

As an organization, this allows us to build from the ground up instead of the top down — meaning that there is going to be a future in both ski jumping and nordic combined in America with hopefully a strong pipeline.  

“We are looking much better then just a few short months ago.” — Bryan Fletcher, 2014 Olympian and U.S. Nordic Combined veteran

FIS: At the same time, you have been elected as a member of the board of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. What do you hope to achieve in this role in the future?

BF: Yeah, this a huge opportunity for me to learn about how a non-profit works and also to be a voice of the athletes. It’s a big role that will take a little bit of time to get going on, but I am motivated to have a voice on the board and really take an active role in the issues at hand. We had some productive spring meetings and my hope is to continue the dialogue during the summer and winter to actually make some improvements, especially in the opportunities for athletes to set up their career outside of skiing so that when they are done skiing they have something to fall back on.  

FIS: Focusing on the sports part of things: what have you been up to training-wise in the last few weeks?

BF: I have been training a lot, road biking a ton and that has been great this summer. Most of the guys on the team raced quite a few races this spring and now I am transitioning into more jumping and rollerskiing. Training has been fun — we recently had some awesome competitions in Steamboat [Colorado] over the 4th of July. It felt much like Europe, there were 2000 spectators rolling through and staying to drink beer and cheer on the jumping. In addition there was even an Austrian band playing traditional Alpenhorn songs. It was great!  

“It felt much like Europe; there were 2000 spectators rolling through and staying to drink beer and cheer on the jumping.” – Fletcher on Steamboat Springs July 4 jumping festival.


FIS: With what kinds of goals do you go into this season full of new beginnings?

BF: My goal this season is to have no excuses. Despite our cutbacks I think I and our team can continue to make progress in the sport. And I would like to add a few more podiums to my results page this season.  

FIS: This summer will also mark an important step for you personally: you are set to marry your fiancé Nicole [Thorsen]. When is the big day? 

BF: Nikki and I are very excited! The big day is September 27th! All the planning is pretty much done and now we are just excited for the big day.

Revamp your camp: State Fair entries show how
An effort is underway to show younger would-be campers that pitched tents and log cabins are not the only way to camp.

Alaze Benson, 9, has her photograph taken by her mom, Michelle Rogers, outside the student-designed cabin as dad Richard Benson watches.

Matt Weegman, center, and Megan Harris, right, look in the Cal Poly student-designed cabins to encourage not-so-outdoorsy people to go camping at the State Fair on Sunday.
Behind the Scenes with Canadian Wax Chief Yves Bilodeau (in English)
Canada's Yves Bilodeau at the 1992 Albertville Olympic winter Games. (CP PHOTO/COA/Ted Grant)

Canada’s Yves Bilodeau at the 1992 Albertville Olympic winter Games. (CP PHOTO/COA/Ted Grant)

Yves Bilodeau is one of the faces on the Canadian World Cup Team that’s seldom seen. Like his crew of wax technicians, he’s a behind-the-scenes guy, one of several responsible for the successes and sometimes lack thereof at international competitions.

Born in Quebec City and currently living in France, the 52-year-old made himself known as a Canadian cross-country skier, competing at five World Championships and three Olympics (the last of which came in 1998, three years after he retired. A wax tech at the time, he competed in the 10 k in Nagano, Japan).

After that, he retired for good — at least from international nordic racing. He’s still known in international adventure-racing circles after winning 2005 World Championships with Team Raid Quechua.

Known by his close friends and relatives as Bilose, Bilodeau is embarking on his 20th season working with the Canadian squad, and he’s witnessed a lot of change within the team since his racing days. At the ’92 Olympics in Albertville, France, Canada had one wax tech. Twenty-two years later, the team had a record nine at the Sochi Olympics.

In a phone interview with FasterSkier, Bilodeau spoke in his native tongue, humbly with a hint of humor. While attached to the past, he explains skiing is an exact science that hasn’t been mastered yet.

From his home in Ruffieux in south-eastern France, he talked about his waxing debut in 1995, reflected on what he called the “Sochi drama,” and explained who he’ll be working with this upcoming World Cup season.

Canada's 1992 Albertville Olympic team: (from left to right) Top: Alain Masson, Dave Wood (Wax Technician), Dany Bouchard, Yves Bilodeau, Darren Derochie, Al Pilcher, Wayne Dustin.  Bottom: Laurent Roux (Head Coach) Jane Vincent, Lucy Steele, Lorna Daudrich, Rhonda De Long, Marty Hall (NST Director),  absent Angela Schmidt-Foster. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

Canada’s 1992 Albertville Olympic team, including Yves Bilodeau (top, center). (From left to right) Top: Alain Masson, Dave Wood (the lone wax technician), Dany Bouchard, Yves Bilodeau, Darren Derochie, Al Pilcher, Wayne Dustin. Bottom: Laurent Roux (head coach) Jane Vincent, Lucy Steele, Lorna Daudrich, Rhonda De Long, Marty Hall (NST director), absent Angela Schmidt-Foster. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

(Note: the following interview has been translated from French to English.)

FasterSkier: Starting as an athlete, what made you join the Canadian technical ski team 20 years ago?

Yves Bilodeau: Back in 1995, when I stopped competing after the Nordic World Ski Championships in Thunder Bay, I moved to France with my first wife, who at the time was finishing an international law degree and working at the International Labour Office located in Geneva. I was looking for a job and actually thinking about joining a European ski team for long-distance races. In the end, my luck turned suddenly when my old friend Alain Masson gave up his spot on the Canadian technical team to fill a coach position for the Yukon ski team. It was a great opportunity and I accepted it with no hesitation.

Former Canadian National Team member Yves Bilodeau racing in Calgary. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

Former Canadian National Team member Yves Bilodeau racing in Calgary. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

FS: How has your previous racing experience helped shape your interest in ski preparation and waxing?

YB: Times have changed dramatically over the course of two decades. Back in 1992, racers had to put the shoulder to the wheel in terms of ski preparation, since Canada had hired only one technician — who moreover undertook other tasks aside from waxing — for the Olympic Games in Albertville. We were already at the back of the peloton compared to most of the European technical teams. Things then started changing gradually, thanks to the arrival of Dave Wood [head technician in 1992 and head coach in ’02], as more technicians got hired. I think we improved a ton since then, although we sometimes struggle making ends meet with what limited budgets we have.

FS: Who will you be working with on Canada’s World Cup technical team this season?

Canada’s 2014/2015 NST Wax Techs:
- Yves Bilodeau (full-time Sept.-April)
- Joel Jaques (full-time year-round)
- Micke Book
- Alain Masson
- Sacha Bergeron
- Fabio Ghasifi*
- Graham MacLean**(New this season)

YB: Micke Book, a great Swede who couldn’t get along with his fellow countrymen, joined the Canadian team in 2006 after the Olympic Games in Turin. Joel Jacques is based in Canmore and works year-round with us. Alain Masson also gives us a hand during the more important events, when his schedule in Yukon allows for it.

Although he will spend less time with us this years, having recently become a father, we can still count on Sacha Bergeron. We also hired Fabio [Ghasifi], an Italian who previously worked magic for the Japanese team [for the last decade] in difficult snow conditions. Graham MacLean will also help us this year.

For my part, I always join the team full-time from September to April. We usually form a group of six during World Cups, and go up to nine technicians for Olympic Games and World Championships. When few Canadians take part in a World Cup freestyle event, we make ends meet with only four waxers. Micke and Joel are the grip specialists, while Fabio and I work primarily on gliding.

FS: Looking back on the last Olympics in Sochi, what went wrong exactly from a technical standpoint for some of your athletes?

YB: We failed in Sochi due in large part to the abrupt change in snow conditions, which always seemed to occur exactly at the time when most races started, around 2 p.m. At that precise time, one side of the mountain remained cold, while the other was totally exposed to the sun. With only 15 minutes before the start, we were confident with the skis and our racers would tell us just how satisfied they were with them. Then, as the races unfolded, skis became really sluggish. Looking back, we should’ve been able to capitalize on these difficult conditions and set ourselves apart from the rest, as other teams experienced similar technical setbacks.

It was Daria [Gaiazova] who involuntarily provided us with the key to our waxing issues. On race day, after testing her first pair of skis, she asked Sacha to rewax them. Sacha took his spatula and scraped off a thick layer of wax. Before he knew it, Daria took those skis and retested them. She told him they were perfect and needed no additional adjustment! We finally realized that the trick was to apply a very thin layer of red klister on soft skis, which was contrary to our common practices. Unfortunately, this discovery was made too late and they [our athletes] paid the price.

FS: Were these simply the worst snow conditions you’ve experienced in a race?

YB: I had rarely witnessed such bad conditions, that’s for sure. Even with air temperatures approaching -3 degrees [Celsius], accumulated snow in the trees would melt and water dropped constantly on the course, then refroze, then melted again. It was crazy. Nevertheless, we weren’t totally surprised, having skied previously many times on the Olympic course before the Sochi Games. Our greatest oversight was having done no ski testing at 2 p.m. precisely. We underwent various tests from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and everything worked great. At 2 p.m., we were in serious trouble.

“Looking back, we should’ve been able to capitalize on these difficult conditions and set ourselves apart from the rest. … Our greatest oversight was having done no ski testing at 2 p.m. precisely.”  -- Bilodeau on what went wrong in Sochi

FS: In hindsight, what lessons have you drawn from the last Olympics?

YB: Life is made of ups and downs. Yes, we failed in Sochi, but we weren’t the only ones getting rocked. Take Norway for example. Their technical team did much more testing before the Games, in addition to collaborating closely with Swix and having their technicians undergo several separate tests. In the end, they failed just as bad as we did. After Sochi, we quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to work closer with athletes throughout the last minutes leading up to the race start. Next year, Graham and another technician, who weighs the same as Alex Harvey, will accompany and assist Alex for testing and any last-minute wax adjustment.

FS: Were Harvey’s impressive results at World Cup Finals (in Falun, Sweden) a form of redemption after Sochi?

YB: We’re constantly put under the pressure to deliver the best skis possible. We can’t have too many bad days, as our main objective is to always move up in the World Cup standings. But sometimes things go unplanned. Harvey, just like Norwegian Martin Sundby, stood several times on the podium before and after the Sochi Games, but both were out of luck when it counted most. That was the Sochi drama: performing poorly while the expectations we so high in Canada. As Quebecers say, the puck wasn’t going our way. [Laughs]

Canadian wax tech Yves Bilodeau (second from l) receives a gift from Chandra Crawford, Beckie Scott and Sara Renner. (Photo: John Evely/Cross Country Canada)

Canadian wax tech Yves Bilodeau (second from l) receives a gift from Chandra Crawford, Beckie Scott and Sara Renner for his commitment to Canadian cross-country skiing. (Photo: John Evely/Cross Country Canada)

FS: How has cross-country ski racing changed since you first joined the Canadian technical team in 1995? What major technical shifts have you noticed?

YB: Major changes are fewer than most people think. When it comes to gliding, what I call “accelerators” — fluor liquids applied at the very end of the ski preparation — make the biggest difference. On the grip side, there are a few new interesting products, but twenty- to thirty-year-old waxes, like Rode Red, still work great. Every piece of equipment is lighter with each year. Ski manufacturers also work hard on bettering the uniformity of their productions, to deliver equal skis as much as possible. It may sound simple, but ski making is no exact science yet.

FS: What makes a ski go fast? What unique features distinguish a great pair from a standard one?

YB: It’s fairly easy to eliminate the pairs we don’t like, but trying to handpick the best ones directly from the manufacturer remains a dubious task. The only way to tell which pairs stand out is to install bindings and try out the skis on snow. In the summer, Micke will do various tests in the Torsby ski tunnel in Sweden and rate each pair. There is no other way to go about it.

FS: How does Canada manage to stay competitive against other larger and wealthier European teams?

YB: Last season, Haywood and AltaGas, two of our long-time sponsors, helped us in acquiring a brand-new wax truck. Only a handful of teams enjoy such luxury, as other nations like France and the U.S. are presently working on purchasing their own truck. Since I first started this job, it’s probably the best technical improvement I’ve seen yet. We’re now completely self reliant, as we can park the truck right at the foot of the ski slopes for quick testing and avoid unvented and crowded waxing rooms. This vehicle can hold easily our 350 pairs of skis and six workstations are available. The ventilation system filters the air every two seconds and my back doesn’t hurt like it normally used to. It makes our job so much easier and more enjoyable.

“… The Sochi drama: performing poorly while the expectations we so high in Canada. As Quebecers say, the puck wasn’t going our way.”

FS: How are you approaching the upcoming World Cup season? Are the World Championships in Falun the team’s main objective?

YB: Definitely. We’re aiming for medals in Falun, that’s for sure. We want to get closure on everything that went wrong in Sochi, move forward and focus all our efforts on the World Championships and the Tour de Ski.

FS: Does living in France gives you and the Canadian team a strategic advantage on European soil?

YB: It works out great for everyone. Joel stays in Canmore year-round and works with the team in the summer, while I stay here in France and rejoin him and Micke later in September. I can test skis in Val d’Isère and in various areas in France. I keep a lot of the team’s equipment to avoid carrying everything by plane from Canada when the World Cup season kicks off. One of the team’s buses we use during competitions also stays at my home in the offseason.

FS: Finally, are you working on any projects for the summer? Are you still competing in expedition races, do you plan to fish a lot in Savoie?

YB: My career in expedition races slowed down quite a bit, but I always stay active, competing locally in trail running mainly. With the frequent showers beating down recently in the region, there’s less fishing in the Rhône valley’s rivers, but perch, trout and other types of fish can be found in lakes nearby.

***

About the author: FasterSkier contributor François Léger Dionne raced for 15 years at provincial and national competitions in Quebec. After obtaining a Bachelor of Law at the University of Montreal, he’s currently enrolled in a full-time program at the Montreal College of Osteotheraphy. French is his first language, but he speaks and writes fluently in English. His claim to fame? Racing and beating a younger Alex Harvey!

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