“It was in Vancouver in 2010. I was maybe 14, 15 and I was there to watch [my sister] Chloe at the Olympic Games,” says Justine, now 19.
“It was the first time I saw so many Canadians wearing those mittens. They were all coming together, it was unbelievable. … I felt so proud to be Canadian at that moment.”
On Wednesday, Justine, Chloé and their older sister Maxime, Olympic freestyle skiers and official Red Mitten ambassadors, visited the CBC building in Toronto to promote the sixth edition of the Red Mitten. Funds from the Hudson’s Bay Red Mittens help provide Canadian athletes with support as they prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Dufour-Lapointe sisters, the first Canadian set of three siblings to compete in the same individual event at the same Games — Justine and Chloé won gold and silver, respectively, earlier this year in Sochi, Russia — also spent time during their visit speaking with CBCSports.ca about life as Canadians away from their training and competition.
1. What is something that makes you proud, whether it involves your athletic endeavours, or not?
Chloé: I’m proud of our lifestyle and I like to share it on Instagram. We work, try to be healthy, push ourselves in every way. We just go and do things, don’t be scared.
Justine: I’m proud of dreaming out loud. People are sometimes shy to tell their dream but when you say it’s not a goal, you can achieve it. If it’s something no one has done before I think everyone should dream out loud because it’s possible. You’re allowed to put your goal at a high standard and don’t be shy to say it.
Every day you have a goal to be the best that you could be. For me, I’m proud to dream and not be shy of it.
2. You recently partnered with footwear and accessories retailer Call It Spring. Prior to this partnership, which of you was most fashion-conscious?
Justine & Maxime (pointing a finger): Oh, that’s Chloé, for sure.
Chloé: It [started] when I was a kid. I was a sporty girl but I liked to dress well. Because I was doing sports and the other girls in my class were shopping every weekend I was like, “Mom, why can’t I shop every weekend?” She said: “You ski, it’s expensive.” So I decided to mix and match my clothes. I always wanted to have something different than everybody.
I always had eyes for fashion. Today, when I walk on the street [I see] what certain people are wearing. I’m aware of everything. I’ve always been girlie. When they [Justine & Maxime] go shopping they send pictures [for my advice].
Justine: [Maxime and I] learned from Chloé but we always had different styles, taste. Shopping alone is the worst thing ever. It’s much more fun with the three of us. We talk a lot about fashion and follow some Instagram accounts.
Maxime: We’ve grown to define our own style. For me, I wasn’t that stylish or interested in clothing as a kid. What I like the most about taking time to dress myself well is how it makes me feel. It makes a big difference in my confidence. I feel good. Skiing is about expressing myself. Dressing well and [my] interest in fashion is about expressing yourself and being creative.
3. How do your sisters inspire you to reach the highest level in your sport?
Maxime: Like Chloé said, she knows what she wants and goes after it. That’s what I’ve learned from her; don’t be afraid to ask what you want. If you don’t get, find another way to get it and work towards it. With Justine, I [draw from] her energy and her extrovert [personality]. Just show the world who you are and don’t be afraid of anything.
Chloé: Maxime, she works out hard in the gym and pushes me. I didn’t like it at first but seeing her [working out] gave me motivation and determination.
Justine: I think I’ve learned determination from my sisters. When I started [skiing], I was just in freestyle for fun. I’ve been surrounded by good people and a good team and have developed [in the sport] but [my sisters taught] me how to be determined [and set goals].
4. After Justine won Olympic gold, she did an air-guitar, or ski-guitar, celebration. With that in mind, what musical artists would I find on each of your phones?
Chloé: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga.
Justine: I like [a variety] of music. When I go to the gym our trainer always puts on some rock, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, so that’s my music [there] and what I like. When I’m skiing it’s more pop. I also really love disco. I have disco parents and when I listening to it I just want to move. When I was at the Olympics one of my songs was Katy Perry and the song Roar and that was my song for the event.
Maxime: I can’t say [I listen to] one group in particular. For me, music is about feeling. I’ll feel it in my gut and my heart and listen to it, whether it’s for dancing or for relaxing. I’ll get into a phase, love one song, repeat it and then move to another.
5. What do you like to do for fun when you’re not training or competing?
Maxime: We’re all active girls but for me, especially, I really love surfing. It feels like a vacation when I’m on the water. It’s so relaxing. I also have a big passion for horseback riding. Drawing, I used to do it to express my feelings. We don’t get too much free time to do things.
Chloé: I like to draw fashion stuff and take pictures.
Justine: I love photography and taking a course now. I love drawing, cooking. I love cooking. I want to get the best banana bread in the world, that’s my goal.