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From the blog

  • Gus Leblanc - Our Favorite 14 Year Old Ski Racer

    Gus LeBlanc

    Vail, Colorado

    14 Year Old Ski Racer

     

    So how does it all work? Are you a professional?

    You spend two years in an age group and last year I was the older part of my age group. So last year was a really good year for me. I won the Junior Olympics and went to Nationals and got third place. In the Junior Olympics I won the Super-G and the Slalom, and I got 2nd place in the Giant Slalom—all that was enough to win the overall award.

    This year I moved up an age group and so it’ll be tougher because I’ll be racing older kids. This year I’m in USSA races and I’ll start accumulating points and the more points you have, the earlier starts you get. So if you start later the course has a lot of ruts—it’s harder to be fast. When I turn 17 I’ll earn a different kind of points—the kind that gets you onto the US Ski Team—and those are the guys that go to the Olympics.

    Do you just love to ski?

    It’s a passion that has turned into my life, really. I go to the Ski Academy and I ski every morning from eight thirty to noon. I ski on the weekends. I mean, at the end of the season, I’ll admit, it gets a little tiring.

    Do you travel a lot?

    Last year I went to Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Actually tomorrow I leave for Oregon to ski Mount Hood for a week. So yeah it’s kind of a year-round sport. I think I can go pretty far with it, it’s turned into my life.

    What about SUPing?

    I guess you could say that’s my main summer sport. We go down the upper Colorado River. We do that stretch a lot—and I can usually stand up through class three rapids.

    Wow!

    Yeah. We probably go three or four times a week. Last year I competed in the Rocky Mountain Surf Festival and that was in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It was kind of like a paddle-cross race where you gotta go around buoys and there's a big wave. It's pretty cool.

     

    What are your goals?

    Going to the Olympics is probably one of my main goals—maybe even podium or win in the Olympics. That would be really cool. Also, probably one of the biggest races in the world is in this place called Kitzbuhel, Austria. It’s the most insane downhill course, like the fastest event in the world. If you win that, it’s pretty big. That’s one of my other goals.

    I think you should win that.

    (Laughs)

    What’s your support system look like?

    I have a couple sponsors—like Volkl Skis—they give me around eight pairs of skis a year. That’s really helpful. They take care of me. The rep lives two miles away and if I need something, he’ll be right on it.

    And then my dad takes me everywhere, helps me tune my skis, pays for everything, he’s super supportive and same with my mom.

    One last question—Are you ever scared? You have to go so fast!

    Sometimes. Especially when I'm going fast through the air off a jump. But not really—it's in my blood. (laughs)

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