CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
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.