The Leducs have seen both their sons go through the Club’s ski programs, and Mathieu, 18, is now competing with the B.C. Ski Team as a result of the coaching he received at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
Both Normand and Cindy are quick to volunteer for anything the Club needs, and they’re fixtures at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
“Skiing’s always been a big part of our lives,” says Normand. “We both come from skiing families.”
He and Cindy met while skiing on Kaprun, a glacier in Austria – Normand is from Montreal, Que. and Cindy is from Horseshoe Bay, B.C. Normand, a retired air traffic controller with the Canadian Air Force, was a ski instructor in Germany at the time. He and Cindy still keep up their instructor tickets, training for their professional development each year.
The Leducs first became involved with the Mount Washington Ski Club in 1992 when their older son David was six years old (Mathieu is four years younger). The family had moved to Comox in 1990 after Normand was posted to Canadian Forces Base Comox.
David “was an awesome racer,” says Normand. “Then he went to the dark side, snowboarding.” At 12 years old, David’s ski racing career was over.
David is now 22 years old and busy with his new career as an air traffic controller at 3 Wing Bagotville.
Mathieu, 18, graduated from Highland Secondary School in Comox last spring and is spending his winter traveling with the B.C. team. They were in Chile for two weeks in September and spent some time on technical training for the giant slalom and slalom in Colorado.
“Mathieu always loved racing,” says Normand, adding that he began skiing when he was not quite two, and racing when he was five years old. “He would follow his big brother and want to race him all the time.”
Mathieu has spent the past 10 years working on his goal of making the Canadian Olympic team. Normand says he is too young for the 2010 Winter Olympics that will be held at Whistler, B.C., “but maybe the next one. I told him the first gold medal he wins is mine.”
Since David has moved on to other interests, Normand and Cindy devote as much time as they can to Mathieu’s racing career.
This winter, Normand will spend nearly a month with Mathieu, volunteering at World Cup events in Lake Louise and Panorama Ski Resorts.
“I was on the road for a month before Christmas (in 2007),” says Normand. “It’s to support (Mathieu). They need a lot of volunteers and I feel as a parent it’s my duty to support that,” he says.
Cindy only gets so much leave from her job with the air force (she is an electronics technician at 19 Wing Comox, working on the CP-140 Aurora aircraft), so she chooses a couple of races a year to attend.
“We like to watch all the racing, but when Mathieu is racing we like to watch the slalom because it’s not so fast,” says Normand.