GREAT PEOPLE CHOOSE THEIR GUIDING STAR. IT APPEARS THAT ALEX HARVEY, THE LATEST SENSATION ON THE CANADIAN CROSS-COUNTRY SKI SCENE, HAS OPTED FOR THE SAME STAR WHICH GUIDED HIS FATHER ALL THE WAY TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES.
Last winter, Alex made his mark as a cross-country skier by winning two bronze medals at the World Cup. He then became the under-23 world champion. A few decades ago, his father took part in 1976, 1984, Olympic Games on the cycling Canada Team. In 1988 Olympics, Pierre Harvey was on the cross-country Canadian Team. At 54 years old, Pierre Harvey knows the steps, emotions, and tribulations inherent in international competition. He is clearly the best person to advise his son. Surprisingly, he doesn’t! “My father never told me what to do or how to do it,” explains the young idol from Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, “and he’s never intervened with one of my coaches either. When he asks about my skiing, it’s always to see if I’m having fun. He doesn’t want my sport to become a workload.”
Just like Obelix, the famous cartoon character, Alex fell in a magic potion when he was a newborn. After all, both of his parents were athletes. “We always skied, cycled, and did lots of family activities. Each week-end, as a child, then as a teenager, Alex would follow the family to different areas in quebec. There was always at least one, and sometimes all family members, registered in a cycling competition, a 24-hour ski event, or a trekking adventure. “When I was alone with my dad, we’d set ourselves challenges. We’d choose difficult mountain-biking trails and then bet on who would touch their foot down less often. It was great fun!”
What did Alex inherit from his parents? “He’s serious and methodical, like Mireille,” his father points out. “Luckily he lets loose sometimes in the summer; if not, I’d find him too serious. If you never take the time to have fun, at some point the balloon will burst and all of a sudden your life can start to unravel. From me? A balanced life. He hasn’t sacrificed his life to ski. He bought a house, works on it, sees his friends, and still cycles.”
Is the father amazed by his son’s feats? Definitely, and the son also possesses an undying admiration for his father. “He really impresses me. I’ve been discovering his world. Back then, the athletes didn’t have much support. Sometimes he had to wax his own skis. That he was able to compete with Scandinavian athletes is phenomenal. Today we have national team coaches, massage therapists, and specialists. The performances he clocked were truly incredible. On top of that, my mom was a doctor, my sisters were born… the logistics of it all must really have been challenging.” In fact, seems the entire family discovered this star.
PHOTOS NORDICFOCUS / ÉQUIPE NATIONALE DE SKI DE FONDS DU CANADA