Val Saint Come Moguls World Cup Local pride aims to bounce

Val Saint-Côme Moguls World Cup: Local pride aims to bounce back after a difficult first half of the season

VAL SAINT-COME | Despite a very difficult start to the season, local hero Gabriel Dufresne believes he can turn things around in the second half of the season.

Dufresne, a veteran of Team Canada, finished ninth and eleventh in the doubles, but never once reached the final (top 16) on his own. “My results do not reflect my potential,” he said. I am 100% confident that I can get back on my feet. With 2023 over, I am more motivated than ever to have a good 2024 season.

“As for a more difficult season, it is better that it takes place this year because there are no games or world championships, but I don't want to drag out my series,” Dufresne continued. If I stay healthy, I would like to continue until the 2026 Olympic Games in Cortina.”

How does he explain his problems? “It is difficult to pinpoint the reason that explains my lack of success. I had some good runs where I didn't get the grades I wanted and also made some avoidable mistakes. It’s been a frustrating season so far, but I have to use this experience to learn.”

An advantage of skiing at home

Dufresne, 27, still vividly remembers his World Cup debut in 2016 at Val Saint-Côme, the mountain he has been skiing since he started skiing. “I was only 19 and I was super stressed,” he said. I had high expectations without knowing what to expect. It's different now. I know very well what to expect, but I have to implement the game plan.

Dufresne is very happy with last year's big return to Val Saint-Côme and believes skiing at home is an important advantage, even if his 18th place finish in 2023 has left him wanting more.

“My parents always had a chalet in the mountains; “I can eat my mother’s food and sleep in my bed,” he stressed. It's a big advantage to be at home. I'm really looking forward to Friday. Last year I came 18th and narrowly missed the final. During my descent, visibility was average at 4 p.m. This year the organizers postponed the qualification for fairness so that the lighting was the same for everyone.

The excitement is the same as in 2023. “It’s always exciting to ski here. I will have butterflies. I was born in Repentigny but have always skied here. The resort has huge potential which in my opinion was not fully exploited. It was a natural partnership.”