Player's Own Voice podcast: Laurence St-Germain's win for the ages
Slalom skier shares insights on her world championship win and recent success of her teammates
In February, Laurence St-Germain delivered a fantastic wake-up call to the world's best skiers. She won the slalom gold medal at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in France. Established greats like Mikaela Shiffrin were startled and delighted to see the friendly Canadian win her first race on an international circuit.
Other nations can be forgiven for not seeing this one coming: it has been 63 years since the last Canadian woman —Anne Heggtveit in 1960 — won the slalom world championship.
St-Germain settled in for a chat with Anastasia Bucsis, host of Player's Own Voice podcast, just as the new alpine season got underway. The great news is that St-Germain has continued her hot streak. She has now finished in the top 10 in three of the past five World Cup slaloms dating back to last season.
Along with ski jumper Alexandria Loutitt, St-Germain won the John Semmelink Memorial Award as athlete of the year for snow sports, and also a recognition of excellent conduct and citizenship.
St-Germain is justly proud of her off-snow work too, acting as an ambassador for several worthy health and wellness causes. This is her first season as a part time student, having previously raced while taking a full course load for her computer science degree. She's following that up now with biomedical studies, with an eye to perhaps combining all that knowledge in the field of prosthesis design.
When talk turns to many recent successes enjoyed by the Canadian alpine team, St-Germain sees a pattern. All the strong performances lately have come from athletes who, like herself, have endured their ups and downs, but have been afforded the time and patience to develop. As she says, 15-year old phenoms like Mikaela Shiffrin will always be with us, but playing the long game for everyone else, the merely extremely talented skiers, has made all the difference in Canada's results.
Circling back to that glorious day last February when she won all the marbles, Laurence St-Germain has also written an amusing account of all the many things which did not go as planned on race day.
There are transcripts of our podcasts for a hard-of-hearing audience. To listen to Laurence St-Germain, Hilary Knight or any of the guests from earlier seasons, go to CBC Listen or wherever else you get your podcasts.