Mélanie Turgeon: From yesterday’s successes to today’s
Mélanie Turgeon was a real icon of Canadian alpine skiing in the ‘90s and 2000s, but then she had to “rebuild her toolbox”, as she nicely puts it. Today she is projects director for the construction and renovation company MNad. We wanted to discuss, with this world champion and winner of such impressive awards, the anniversary of something special that happened some years ago this month.
January 13 is, in fact, the 20th anniversary of a memorable day in Mélanie Turgeon’s career. On this date, in 2001, during the World Cup races at Haus im Ennstal, Austria, she won two medals in the same day – one bronze in downhill in the morning, and then a silver in super-G in the afternoon. It was a first for a Canadian female skier.
“A gorgeous gift from life” – Mélanie Turgeon
The races took place one right after the other,” Mélanie explains. “That particular day I felt that everything was going well: my skiing was fluid, I was in my zone. I liked the snow conditions; it was very hard and icy,” she adds. “Every race has a different line, but the run remains the same, and let’s say that my morning performance had given me confidence.”
Mélanie realized what had just happened when she crossed the super-G finish line. “Mon Dieu!” she exclaimed before running to a phone to call her loved ones in Québec. “I really didn’t expect that. It was just… Wow! I absolutely had to tell them that I was on the podium again! Of course, they went back to bed, because it was night time here and they didn’t expect me to take two medals the same day. It was really a gorgeous gift from life.”
The crowning point for a young fighter
And that January 13 was not the only special day in Mélanie’s career. Her victory in the World Championships at Saint-Moritz, in 2003, was truly the crowning point of her career.
It was also preceded, three years earlier, by her first World Cup victory at Innsbruck.
“Innsbruck’s in Austria, as well,” she notes. “I would say that at the time, I was particularly fond of the idea of beating the Austrians on their own home turf.”
Retirement in Mont-Tremblant
Although she’s originally from Alma, Mont- Tremblant was the place where Mélanie finally unpacked her suitcases and prepared to write the next pages in her life story.
It was on October 5, 2005, that she announced her retirement from professional skiing. The decision was motivated, in particular, by a back injury she’d suffered in November 2003.
“I would have liked to keep going for a few years to take advantage of my experience in competition,” she confides, “because that valuable experience is hard-earned.” When she joined her brother Sébastien and father Ronald here, Mélanie found in Mont-Tremblant a new home where access to nature, cycling and skiing provided the replenishment and healing needed for a fresh start.
“Everything is accessible here; it’s really great to live here and breathe fresh air. From my perspective, hiking in a forest with my dog is the most restorative thing I can do. I still ski, although perhaps not as much as my dad who probably gets in 72 days a season, but I do keep skiing for the pleasure of it. Those are beautiful days, even though the intensity is very different from what I was used to.”
Mélanie’s new victories
As projects director in the construction business belonging to her spouse Martin Nadeau (MNad), Mélanie applies in her new career all the qualities she acquired thanks to sports. According to her, sport contributed to the development of qualities and skills which helped her face life.
“You learn to set objectives, deal with stress, with pressure, to move forward, to take a step back, etc. I want to bring these values to my work. I become hugely involved and I really take the projects to heart. When you finish a project, you feel pride in a job well done. It’s exactly like when I would cross the finish line with the certainty that I had done my best, the pride in having given it everything I had at that precise moment,” she says in conclusion.
Guillaume Vincent269 Posts
Rédacteur et journaliste de profession, Guillaume Vincent a fait ses armes au sein de l’agence QMI. Il s’est joint au Tremblant Express en 2014. Promu en 2017, il y assume depuis le rôle de rédacteur en chef et directeur de la publication. / A writer and photojournalist by profession, Guillaume Vincent won his stripes in the QMI agency. He joined Tremblant Express in 2014. Promoted in 2017, he has been editor-in-chief and co-publisher since then.