Val-Saint-Côme (QC), Canada – The future of freestyle skiing in Canada got a significant boost this week when the Quebec government announced a CAN $2.5 million project to develop a winter training facility in the province at Val-Saint-Côme in the Lanaudière region, north of Montreal.nThe Freestyle Excellence Centre will be comprised of FIS-standard mogul and aerial sites as well as a chalet and infrastructure to support training and competitions at the resort.
The New Marble Mogul Course will be 250 meters (820 feet) long and a consistent 28 degrees; the existing Marble course, which is less steep, will remain for training purposes. The aerial site will have its own judging tower. The three sites will converge in a central finish area just in front of the new chalet.
The chalet will be a contemporary, three-story building that will house an athlete lounge, a public viewing area, a judging/scoring area and storage facilities.
The sites will be lit to TV broadcast standards and will be supported by state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment.
Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge attended the funding announcement. He said, “To have this kind of world class facility available and dedicated full time for training and domestic events in eastern Canada is amazing. One of the most difficult issues for domestic athletes is reliable access to courses and terrain that can challenge them and optimize their development.
“The Val-Saint-Côme Centre will complement what has been done in the West at WinSport Canada’s facilities in Calgary. Quebec has a significant and proud heritage in Freestyle and the investment by the Government of Quebec in partnership with Val-Saint-Côme, which has established itself as a strong supporter of Freestyle, will ensure that future generations of athletes will be produced from this region,” Judge continued. “We are extremely grateful to Minister Michelle Courchesne, the Government of Quebec, and Station Touristique Val-Saint-Côme for this significant and important investment in sport. We also salute the representatives from Fédération québécoise de ski acrobatique who have worked, and will continue to work, to make this dream a reality.”
Quebec already hosts a summer Freestyle training centre — Centre National d’Entrainement Acrobatique Yves La Roche – in Lac Beauport, near Quebec City. Already, three athletes from Val-Saint-Côme are on the Canadian National Team for next season: Alexandra Dufresne, Marc-Antoine Gagnon and Pascal-Olivier Gagne.
The site will be ready for the 2010-2011 season and will host Canadian Series, NorAm and Canadian Nationals events next year.