Special to The Record
Flashback to Sochi and the 2014 Winter Olympics: Alex Bilodeau, winner of a gold medal in the men’s moguls at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, becomes the first Olympian in history to defend his gold medal in any freestyle skiing event.
But what really captures the hearts and imaginations of Canadians is what happens next: Bilodeau searches and find his brother, Frédéric in the crowd and folds him in a hug that spoke volumes about the relationship between the two.
Frederic has cerebral palsy and will never stand on a podium in front of the world, but that day he was acknowledged as the driving force behind his brother’s success and the world caught a glimpse of the gifts that those who are differently abled might offer.
Bilodeau began his athletic career as a child in Montreal, Quebec.
The son of Serge Bilodeau and Sylvie Michaud, Alex has an older brother, Frédéric, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age and told that he would be unable to walk by the time he was 12.
Frédéric is now age 28 and still has the ability to walk.
He also has a younger sister, Béatrice.
As a child, Alex was an avid hockey player, but his mother got tired of taking children from one rink to another for hockey games, and instead encouraged Alex to sign up for downhill skiing.
The decision to shift his focus to skiing came shortly after Bilodeau saw Jean-Luc Brassard win Olympic gold in moguls at the 1994 Winter Olympics.
The rest, as they say, is history but on Saturday, October 4, Alex and Frédéric Bilodeau will visit the Comox Valley and there will be an opportunity to meet the Olympian and listen to his story.
Now studying at Concordia University’s Molson School of Business, Bilodeau will take time out to visit the Valley in support of the I Belong! Campaign, a fundraising initiative of L’Arche Comox Valley.
He will take the stage at Going for Gold, a public event to be held at École Au-coeur-de-l’Ile in Comox where he will speak of his struggle to earn the highest prize an athlete can acquire, the challenges and successes along the way, and what and who motivated him.
Bilodeau inspires athletes and non-athletes alike and this is an opportunity to hear a heart-warming story of perseverance and determination from a double gold Olympic champion.
Doors open at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4. Tickets for Going for Gold are $20 prior to the event and $25 at the door (if available). They are available online at www.ibelongevent.eventbrite.ca and in many supporting businesses in the community. Blinds & Bubbles Boutique, Canadian Western Bank, First Insurance- 8th Street, Ski & Surf Shop, Ski Tak Hut and Your Island Mortgage Team Angela Zumbo.