After adding Mont Gabriel to his calendar, freestyle ski star Alexandre Bilodeau has decided to join his teammates in Lake Placid, N.Y., site of next weekend's World Cup event.
Canada's Olympic mogul champion had originally decided to take most of the year off to train, spare some pounding on his knees and work on a university degree before getting ready for the 2014 Olympics.
The 24-year old from Rosemere, Que., originally committed to taking part only in the Deer Valley, Utah, event in February. But he decided to also compete at Mont Gabriel on Saturday north of Montreal.
Bilodeau faltered in his return to the circuit. He missed his landing in a jump during qualifying and didn't make the final.
Now he wants another crack at the competition as he tries to master a new jump.
While he has become known for the back iron cross that helped him win gold in Vancouver, Bilodeau wants to perfect an off-axis 720, without slowing down.
That's a major challenge, and something Bilodeau and coach Michel Hamelin have been working on in training.
“We are very, very pleased with where we are now,” Hamelin said. “Yes, there was a fall in the race and it's always unpleasant to have a bad result on a course that Alexandre loves so much.”
For Bilodeau, the main event this year has always been Deer Valley, a more difficult course with conditions similar to those at the World Championships and Olympics, Hamelin said.
But Hamelin and Bilodeau realized at Mont Gabriel that taking part in another event on the World Cup would help with training.
“The results, up until Deer Valley, aren't all that important,” Hamelin said. “It's always fun to do well, of course, but that's not the main goal right now.... We are going to Lake Placid to train, and at the same time to compete.”
Hamelin acknowledged, though, Bilodeau was frustrated with the outcome Saturday. That provided extra incentive to compete again.
Hamelin said Lake Placid's proximity to Concordia University in Montreal, where Bilodeau goes to school, made the decision easier.