Olympic training is punishing. “It’s a full-time job,” says Bilodeau, who’s an accounting student at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. Sochi will be the 26-year-old’s third Olympics and probably his last. The Games have already left an indelible mark on the skier. “When I was 18, in my first Olympic Games, I wasn’t concerned about the same things I am now. Everything changes.”
In a sport as precise and dangerous as moguls skiing, gold medal performances must be near flawless. The pace is gruelling. Skiers complete a dozen turns with complex aerial acrobatics. Runs last less than 30 seconds — a flash, yet plenty of time for career-ending injuries.
“In skiing in general, one injury we’re really worried about is the torn anterior cruciate ligament [ACL, located in the knee],” says Geoff Dover, assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science. He’s also a member of Concordia’s PERFORM Centre, a nexus for research in exercise science, psychology and behavioural medicine. “In some big ski resorts they see a torn ACL a day.”