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Dufour-Lapointe sisters finish 1-2 in women's moguls 0

Alain Bergeron, QMI Agency

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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - 

Canada’s first great moment at the Sochi Olympics was a family affair, as sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe took the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the women’s moguls event yesterday

American Hannah Kearney, the gold medal winner in Vancouver in 2010, was the last competitor to race. She stumbled at the start of her run and settled for bronze, opening the door for an historic day for Canada.

A third sister, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, finished 12th.

“Today, I was the best,” Justine Dufour-Lapointe, 19, said after her victory. “I was in the zone. I told myself that this was my moment, that today was my day.”

After the race, the Montreal native received a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

When Kearney made her mistake at the top of the course, a buzz began to build among the thousands of people at the bottom of the hill. Already guaranteed a podium position, the two Dufour-Lapointe sisters could feel the excitement build to a fever pitch.

The gold medallist was at the bottom of the hill, watching it all unfold.

“Chloe looked at me, and I buried my head in my hands,” Justine said. “It was crazy. I waited until the end to look up and see the score, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. It really happened, I’m the Olympic champion!”

Prior to stepping up to the podium for the flower presentation, the gold and silver medallists held hands.

“When you see the name Dufour-Lapointe three times on the scoreboard, it feels like we dominated,” said Chloe, who improved from her fifth-place finish in Vancouver in 2010.

“These games are a different world than Vancouver. My goal was to be satisfied with every run, and that’s how I feel now. I left my heart out there on that course.”

With four finalists, Canada were expecting at least one podium finish from the women’s moguls. Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City came in 10th.

“I’m not disappointed in the least,” Robichaud said after the race. “If you told me a month ago that I would be here, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Robichaud, who suffered a knee injury at a World Cup event in Calgary at the start of January. added that she “would’ve liked to do better than 10th, but I’m happy with how I did, which makes me feel like a winner.”

As winners of Canada’s first gold and silver medals, the Dufour-Lapointe sisters can expect to have a couple of busy days ahead. It’s early, but as of now the sisters are Canada’s feel-good story of these Olympics.

BIRTHDAY GIRL FALLS SHORT

It was a bittersweet moment for the Dufour-Lapointe family.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe, 19, won the gold medal in women’s moguls yesterday at the Olympics, while her 22-year-old sister Chloe took the silver.

But oldest sister Maxime, who turns 25 on Sunday, finished in 12th place.

“I’m super happy for them,” Maxime said, her voice quivering. “My story and their story isn’t the same. They deserve their successes and I’m very proud to share it with them.”

While the two youngest Dufour-Lapointe sisters were speaking to the press, it was up to her family and the Team Canada entourage to comfort Maxime. She says that she takes solace in making it to the Olympics and sharing in the success of her sisters.

“I put it into perspective,” Dufour-Lapointe says, “I can’t just concentrate on today. I’m thinking about the last couple of months. About the selection process to make it here, not buckling under the Olympic pressure, be it the crowds, the media, the tension. I knew what I had to do and I have no regrets. It was a successful Olympic experience.

“We (the Dufour-Lapointe sisters) will be able to share this moment together forever.”

 

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