SUMMER Q&A WITH MAC MARCOUX & JACK LEITCH

SUMMER Q&A WITH MAC MARCOUX & JACK LEITCH

Calgary, Alta. (September 1, 2017) – 20-year-old Mac Marcoux, from Sault Ste. Marie, is prepping for his second Paralympic Games. He heads into the season with five 2017 World Championship medals and as the reigning giant slalom Paralympic champion.

Marcoux races in the visually impaired category and uses a guide to assist him in navigating the course. Marcoux’s guide skis in front and communicates via microphone and head set. Last season Marcoux teamed up with former Alberta Ski Team / Banff Alpine Racer, Jack Leitch, who guided him through an incredibly successful 2016-17 season.

The duo will be taking that momentum into the new season after months in the gym, working on building strength and endurance.

The Canadian Para-Alpine Team is currently in the middle of their first on-snow camp in Santiago, CHI. Make sure you follow the guys on Instagram for updates all season long (@macmarcoux and @jack.leitch)

We caught up with the pair to see how they’re prepping for the season ahead.

Mac Marcoux & Alpine Canada

Alpine Canada: You just finished your first season with Jack Leitch as your guide. How do you feel the season went?  

Mac Marcoux: It was absolutely awesome and exceeded my expectations! It only took us a couple of days and we were skiing fast and communicating well with each other. We started off a little rocky in the first couple races of the season as I was struggling with confidence in my own skiing. As the season progressed, we carried great momentum into the 2017 World Championships and the Paralympic test event in South Korea. We are really stoked on our skiing from last season and are hoping to carry the good feelings into our first on-snow camp.

Alpine Canada: What was your most memorable moment from last season?

Mac Marcoux: The most memorable moment of last season was getting to sit down after the World Championship slalom run, the final race of the series, and celebrate the team’s success with the entire Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team crew!  

Alpine Canada: What have you been doing this summer to prep for the Paralympics in March?

Mac Marcoux: Over the past four months the whole team has been living in Whistler, training in the gym. We have been working on filling our fitness gaps from last season and building our strength before getting back on snow. Our strength and conditioning coach, Kayla Dodson, has been busting our butts every day and I think the team is feeling stronger than ever as we head to our first on-snow camp.

Alpine Canada: You had an incredible World Championships, capturing four gold medals and one silver medal. What were your expectations leading into World Championships and how will you try to mirror that success at the Paralympics? 

Mac Marcoux: World Championships this year was definitely one of the highlights of my career. As we were approaching the event we were trying to not set any result-specific goals. We were feeling confident in our skiing but planned to go into every day with a fresh mind and just ski hard and see where we ended up at the end of the day. Leading up to the Paralympic Games this year the plan is very similar. We are going to work as hard as we can in the pre-season camps to ensure we are as prepared as possible coming into race season. The majority of the World Cup season will allow us to have many opportunities to work on our race routines, and hopefully by the time Games come around there will be nothing left to do but ski.

Alpine Canada: You’re still a young athlete. How are you going to use your experiences from the Sochi Games to help you have success at these Paralympics?

Mac Marcoux: Having competed in the 2014 Paralympics will help me deal with the mental side of the Games. Having an idea of the Games environment will allow me to be a lot more focused during the few weeks leading into the big event. At the end of the day, when you cut out the spectators, the cameras and the hype surrounding the Paralympics, it is just another race day.  

Alpine Canada: What are you goals for the Paralympics?

Mac Marcoux: Jack and I have not set any solid result-based goals for the Paralympics. We are planning to come in with all the prep work behind us, take it one day at a time, and ski as hard as we can. The biggest thing will be enjoying the whole Paralympic experience! We are getting more pumped every day.

Jack Leitch and Alpine Canada

Alpine Canada: How was your first season as a guide with the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team?

Jack Leitch: My first season with the team was way beyond my expectations. I wasn't too sure what to expect going into the year as a new-comer, but everyone was very welcoming and I felt comfortable around the team in a short time. The team is the best working group I've been part of. The organization is great, and the athlete-coach relationship is the perfect mix between professional and friendship. 

Alpine Canada: You travelled a lot with the team this year. Did you have a favourite stop on the circuit this year?

Jack Leitch: My favourite stop on the circuit this year was St. Moritz, SUI. We went skating on a frozen mountain lake, which was a pretty amazing experience! It’s not every day that you get to go skating on a lake in the Swiss Alps! Plus, it’s pretty cool to walk into town and see Ferrari’s and Rolls Royce’s in the middle of winter. 

Alpine Canada: What was your most memorable moment this season?

Jack Leitch: That would be winning gold in the giant slalom race at World Championships. Mac and I had been struggling with giant slalom in both training and racing all season, so it was awesome to have a breakthrough. 

Alpine Canada: What have you been doing this summer to prep for the Paralympics in March?

Jack Leitch: I’ve had a very busy summer! I’ve been working landscaping all summer, as well as biking a lot after work, and getting to the gym as much as I can. 

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