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  • Jean-Luc Brassard - Freestyle Skiing


     Who says nice guys finish last? Jean-Luc Brassard, who saved a teenage boy from drowning three summers ago, is the reigning Olympic and world champion and two time defending World Cup champ in men's moguls.
      At 25, the Grande-Ile resident has achieved every conceivable success in his sport. That includes 40 World Cup medals in 77 meets-16 gold, 13 silver and 11 bronze. That record has generated three overall crowns in addition to his world titles in 1993 and 1997.
      Why is he so good? Well despite the aw shucks exterior, the ever-smiling Brassard conceals a fierce competitor's spirit who despises losing. Two seasons ago he suffered an Achilles heel injury and missed three World Cup events. His chances for the overall title appeared nil. But he returned for the final five World Cups and scored two victories, two seconds and a third to snatch the World Cup crown from American Jonny Moseley.
      Then last season despite shoulder and hip injuries which he never revealed until after the World Cup final, Brassard staved off a strong challenge from teammate Stephane Rochon for a second straight Crystal Globe. He's taking steps to avoid any physical problems this season by heading regularly to the weight training room.
      "I'm more serious this year," he said recently. "I realized my body was out of shape."
      In moguls each competitors skis down a bumpy course and must perform two jumps or tricks. Brassard's most effective trick is the Kosack jump which he executes with a personal touch to provide a higher degree of difficulty. The jump is officially called the JLB. The Kozak is a spread eagle where the skier's upper body leans forward and arms reach towards the ski tips to form a box profile.
      At the age of eight, Brassard began skiing on a small mountain near his home. After growing tired of traditional skiing quite quickly, he discovered competitive mogul skiing. Brassard developed rapidly, joining the national team at age 17 and winning his first World Cup race at 18.