IRIS is a proud sponsor of Frédérique Turgeon, an incredible and unique athlete. One of Frédérique’s legs is 50% shorter than the other, but it has never prevented her from skiing on both her legs, using a prosthesis made of carbon. It was after a skiing accident that Frédérique started skiing on one leg and was invited to join the Canadian Paralympic Team in 2017.
1. What does a day in your life as a Paralympian look like?
I have time to do all sorts of activities that any normal girl would do, but obviously, my life revolves around skiing and all the responsibilities that come with it.
2. Which Paralympic athlete inspired you on your journey to your first Games?
When I was a little girl, I saw Marie Bochet winning many medals and demonstrating that para alpine skiing could be as competitive and impressive as regular alpine skiing. Through the years, Marie has become a good friend of mine as well as being a rival. She inspired me to reach my goals and she’s been encouraging me ever since.
3. What’s been your biggest challenge on your way to your first Games?
Like most athletes, I have suffered a lot from physical injuries. It was tough and discouraging sometimes because in order to qualify for the Games, I had to attend some competitions even tough I was injured. I also had to be away from home for months, which has been tough mentally. Family means everything to me.
4. A part from your athlete life, what dreams and projects do you pursue?
I am a very curious girl who loves being out of place. I love traveling and discovering new cultures.
5. What is the secret behind your endless motivation?
Being competitive has always been in my blood. I think that I get it from my mother, who would never let me win when we played board games (like Sorry for example).
6. What does IRIS help you accomplish with your sponsorship/partnership?
The support offered by IRIS helps me a lot to do my sport in the best possible conditions, allowing me to achieve and perform to my full potential. The fact that such a large company believes in me, confirms that I am on the right track and it inspires me to improve myself.
7. What is the most beautiful moment or your best memory as an athlete?
After I got seriously injured a few years ago, I bitterly had to reduce my physical activity and I couldn’t ski for a whole year. The year after, I decided to start skiing again and it turned out to be a very difficult season. Then, in the middle of the season, I won the Canada Games and it filled me with so much joy. This comforting feeling proved me that I was made for ski racing.
8. What advice would you give to someone who’s got the ambition of becoming a professional athlete?
Despite the ups and downs, you must never let go. You have to be very strong mentally. Even when you are filled with doubt, all the sacrifices and efforts that have been put into this passion will eventually be rewarded.
9. After the 2018 Games, what will be the next step for you?
I am very ambitious to participate in the world championship tournament. The next edition will take place in 2019. I am going to work very hard to show that I am an excellent skier and (possibly) win a medal.
10. Who do you think will be your biggest rival for your first Games?
Although Marie is my most talented rival, these first games are very serious to me. I will try to surpass myself and exploit my talent to the maximum. So, for my first Games, my biggest rival will be none other than Frédérique Turgeon herself.
Follow Frédérique on Instagram: @fredturgeon