LOUIS-PIERRE HÉLIE RETIRES FROM CANADA SKI CROSS
Alpine Canada – Calgary, Alta. (April 4 2016) – After a professional ski racing career spanning a decade, Canadian Ski Cross athlete Louis-Pierre Hélie is hanging up his race skis to spend more time on his touring skis and with his growing family. The 30-year-old from Berthierville, Quebec began his ski career on the alpine side in Quebec, racing out of Mont-Sainte-Anne.
Hélie has been a member of Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) for ten years seeing a slew of impressive accomplishments, including participating the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and having a total of 30 Alpine Skiing World Cup starts. He closed out his alpine career with a career-best 13th-place finish at the Val Gardena downhill in 2010.
“Lup [Hélie] was great guy to ski with. He is super hard working and a ton of fun to be around,” says John Kucera, Canadian Cowboy, former Canadian National Ski Team member and teammate of Hélie. “He brought a lot of enthusiasm to the team and great energy. It’s been great to watch him on the ski cross side and I’m excited for him and the next chapter of his life.”
In 2012, Hélie made the transition to ski cross and made his debut FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup start during the 2012-13 season in Nakiska, Alberta. Hélie had a standout World Cup season this year, capturing a fourth, sixth and eighth-place finish on the circuit.
“I would like to thank everyone of you for all the work you have done for me and the organization,” says Hélie. “This year was my tenth year as a member of ACA. I have grown so much and will keep a lot of memories and emotions about this chapter of my life. I am proud of my achievements in both downhill and ski cross. After the best year of my career this year with a fourth, sixth and eighth-place finishes, it was a hard decision to make but I am happy to leave on a good note and focus on my family and the rest of my life. I really aspired to have a World Cup podium in my career to make my kids proud, but like my dad said, ‘your podium will be your baby in September!’”
Hélie made lasting impressions on his teammates on both alpine and ski cross. “Lou [Hélie] was an amazing person to have as a teammate and friend,” says Brady Leman, Canada Ski Cross Team member. “His work ethic was amazing, and he was always the first one ready to help out a teammate with anything! He was a big character guy on our team, and his positive attitude was something that you could always count on. He was everyone’s friend and was always there to put a smile on your face when you needed it! We will definitely miss him on the road and wish him the best in the next chapter of his life!”
Ending his career on a high note, Hélie and his wife will be welcoming a new addition to the family in the fall. Along with being a father and a husband, Hélie will be branching into the restaurant business in Banff, Alberta helping to run Ticino Restaurant, serving Swiss-Italian cuisine.
“I had mixed emotions when Lup [Hélie] talked to me about his retirement as he had just finished the best year of his career,” said Willy Raine, Athletic Director, Ski Cross, Alpine Canada Alpin. “He has been a huge part of bringing our team back to number one in the world and was tracking to be a contender at the 2018 Olympics. However, he has an even greater opportunity in front of him with Ticino’s Restaurant in Banff, a supportive wife and family along with the arrival of their new child. I know he will be a great father, husband and entrepreneur. I’m confident we he will also help share some of his knowledge about alpine and ski cross racing with our NextGen athletes in the Banff/Calgary area, so I guess this means I need to speak with Mt. Norquay and the Banff Alpine Racers to allow Lup to come sneak a few turns and share his knowledge with younger athletes. I look forward to keeping him involved in the sport and I’m going to put my money on him at the Bozo Cup on April 16th at Mt. Norquay!”
Despite moving on from skiing in a professional capacity, Hélie’s passion for the sport will continue to shine as he stays involved with the next generation of skiers and will find time for ski touring in the Bow Valley, Alberta.
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Alpine Canada Alpin
Calgary, Alberta T3B 6B7