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Dufour-Lapointe sister act a fierce one in moguls freestyle skiing

CALGARY — Justine is the visionary with a "follow me" battle cry. Chloe is the empathetic one who follows her heart. Maxime, the responsible eldest sibling, is the analyzer of details.
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CALGARY — Justine is the visionary with a "follow me" battle cry. Chloe is the empathetic one who follows her heart. Maxime, the responsible eldest sibling, is the analyzer of details.

And the Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Montreal couldn't imagine racing moguls without each other.

United under the Twitter handle @3_SDL, the Dufour-Lapointes have been a triple threat in international freestyle skiing since 2010. Chloe and Maxime have been teammates on the national team for a decade.

They will compete at the Calgary World Cup as a trio for a seventh year Friday and Saturday.

At least one Dufour-Lapointe has stood on the podium in Calgary six times and two have finished in the medals five straight years.

Moguls may be in individual sport, but the Dufour-Lapointes consider themselves a team.

"We're totally different personalities, but we complete each other," Maxime says.

"Being separated doesn't feel normal," she adds. "We've worked out our dynamics over the years and we've got it on point where we give each other space, but we also know when it's a team moment.

"Sometimes we argue and we have fights, but we talk it out."

Justine is the youngest at 23 with 26-year-old Chloe the middle sister and Maxime the oldest at 28.

According to the Canadian Olympic Committee, they became just the third trio of sisters to compete in the same individual event at a Winter Games in 2014.

Justine won moguls gold and Chloe silver in Sochi, Russia. Maxime placed 12th.

"I think it wouldn't be the same experience if didn't have my sisters behind me and with me during the Olympic Games," Justine says.

"Just going to the Olympic Games is a really difficult and intense thing to do. You will feel lost. You will feel scared. You will feel overwhelmed. Because I was going through this really intense moment of my life, I had my two sisters with me . . . I felt so good. I knew I was going to be OK."

The photo of Justine and Chloe holding hands and looking into each other's faces before stepping on the podium at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park almost four years ago drew a "So cute, sport is great" tweet from tennis star Roger Federer.

The Dufour-Lapointes' daily training and racing routines include each other, and they were able to lean on each other in Sochi when all were named to Canada's freestyle team.

"I think we're lucky," Chloe says. "In those moments where it's maybe not easy for one single person, I can rely on my sisters.

The Dufour-Lapointes also made moguls history Jan. 23, 2016, when they swept the medals at a World Cup in Val Saint-Come, Que.

Justine won gold, Chloe silver and Maxime bronze for the first Canadian sweep of a World Cup podium by female freestylers.

Justine opens defence of her Olympic crown Feb. 9 at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Women's qualifying rounds are scheduled for the same day as the opening ceremonies.

She fulfilled her Olympic team criteria in 2016-17 season by finishing in the medals at select World Cups and at the world championship.

Andi Naude of Penticton, B.C., won a pair of World Cup medals in 2016-17 to meet qualification criteria.

With Canada so deep in female moguls talent, the competition for spots on the 2018 Olympic team is fierce. Chloe and Maxime are still chasing the remaining two berths on the team.

Two-time Olympian Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City is also in the mix to compete in Pyeongchang.

The Olympic moguls team is expected to be named Jan. 22, the day after a World Cup in Mont-Tremblant, Que.

The sisters finish each other's sentences, but they aren't quite on the same page on how they would spend a day together away from the ski slope.

"Brunch," Justine says.

"Brunch," echoes Maxime.

"I was going to say shopping," Chloe interjects.

"A full day would be brunch, then shopping," says Justine.

"I was going to say swimming in the pool," Chloe says.

"But we all do very much like brunch," concludes Maxime.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press




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