The Dufour-Lapointe sisters have been hiding a secret for nearly a year — their mother has been battling cancer.
“Last winter, we learned that our mother had cancer and that has affected us whether we wanted it to or not,” Chloe Dufour-Lapointe said Thursday. “It changes your life. It knocks you over.”
The three mogul skiers didn’t want to go into details about the nature of the illness, but said that their mother, 57-year-old Johane Dufour-Lapointe, has been in remission since August.
They didn’t want to use it as a excuse for their disappointing performances on the World Cup circuit this season.
Trying to focus on Olympics
Reigning Olympic champion Justine sits seventh in World Cup standings, while 2014 silver medallist Chloe is 16th and the eldest sister, 28-year-old Maxine, is 37th. With those results, the chances of all three making the Canadian team for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are slim.
But they wanted to make it public ahead of a World Cup meet this weekend so they can put it out of their minds going into the Olympics.
“We wanted to share it with people because it weighed on us and we want to go to the Olympics feeling free,” said Chloe, 26. “We feel good now and we’re working hard to get back that fire in the belly.”
“It was also important to talk about it here, at Mont-Tremblant, because we’re at home, in front of our family and friends,” said Maxine Dufour-Lapointe. “We want to make a new start before going to the Games.”
Pearl bracelet provides hope
When they learned their mother was in remission, the sisters gave her a pearl bracelet, because they knew she loved pearls.
Johane Dufour-Lapointe was wearing pearl earrings at the resort on Thursday, telling all who wanted to hear that the support of her husband Yves and her three daughters played a key role in beating the disease.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe said the holiday season was especially emotional.
“We were exactly where we needed to be — together as a family,” she said. “We raised a glass of champagne to our health, that’s for sure.”
Justine said the sisters are ready to display their true colours this weekend.
“Count on it, we’re going to put on a show,” she said.
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