Dazzling rise of a young marvel: Phil Langevin
He’s only 17, but Mont-Tremblant native Philippe Langevin has taken the first podium place of his slopestyle career on the World Cup circuit. He won silver at Font Romeu, France, on January 12 and in doing so, beat one of the world’s best skiers, Andri Ragettli (Switzerland). A few days later, Philippe received the most coveted invitation in the world of freestyle skiing: a place in the X Games. What follows is an interview with a young champion whose career we’ll follow avidly.
“It’s unbelievable. In one day, my whole ski season changed,” explains Phil Langevin, interviewed on the Tremblant slopes. “I had no idea I’d come second in France. The best in the world were there. I can still hardly believe it. It’s kind of like a dream,” confides the young skier who is in his second World Cup season.
Lots of surprises in this competition
“They decided that day to do the qualifying runs and the finals the same day because of the weather,” Phil remembers. “I fell in the first qualifying round – fell on the first jump. I got super stressed. Before my second run, I visualized all the tricks I was going to do on the course and I landed all of them. That got me into the final. The stress vanished and I just wanted to have fun. I’ve got to enjoy a competition or it doesn’t work,” he adds.
Phil then got 87.63 points on his first run of the finals, which put him in second place. On his second run, he improved his mark and retained second place with 90.27 points. The American Alexander Hall (92.11) took gold and Andri Ragettli completed the podium group taking bronze with 89.06 points
Where would we be without duct tape?
What the story doesn’t mention is that Philippe Langevin did all these amazing feats with a busted boot. A makeshift repair done by his coach allowed the skier to qualify for the final and win his improbable second place finish.
“That morning, I broke my boot during the practices. As a result, I blew pretty well all of them. We managed to repair my boot with duct tape and a gadget you use to sharpen skis. It worked, but it was pretty rock ’n’ roll,” he admits.
An unexpected trick
On the rail, young Langevin decided to go all out and landed a trick that may have been a first, a “switch 4 in, 6 out”, we learn. “I had landed really well on the rail so I decided to go for broke. It wasn’t anticipated and actually, I don’t think anyone has done it yet in competition. That’s a lot of turns,” Phil laughingly admits.
An invitation to the X Games: the dream continues
The World Cup podium place allowed the young athlete to have another dream come true: getting to compete in the X Games, considered the Olympics of extreme sports. Again, there’s no hiding Phil’s joy.
“I had heard there was one last spot to fill at the X Games and that the event organizers were waiting for the World Cup at Font Remeu to know who to invite. I thought that with that second place finish I had a chance of being the one, but I didn’t dare hope. Then one morning, I got the invitation by email. It was nuts: I was jumping around my room,” he recounts. “It’s the biggest competition there is; it’s crazy!”
Training that paid off
Last summer, Philippe decided to train with RobFit, well-known kinesiologist and specialist in athletic development. He says it was a wise choice, because it helped him enormously this season. “It was extremely effective. I feel much stronger on my skis and more solid…resistant against falling,” Phil explains.
What happens next?
If everything goes as planned, Phil Langevin should be participating in the 17th annual Freestyle Ski World Cup, scheduled for February 1 to 10 in Park City, Utah. Then in March he’ll participate in the FIS Big Air World Cup in Québec and lastly, an ultimate World Cup in Europe. To be continued….
The X Games were held January 24 to 27.
Guillaume Vincent249 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.