More than 2000 attendees at the FitSpirit celebration in Montreal

For their first big match since 2019, the girls were invited to a 5 or 10 kilometer race, with no time trial or ranking. For the simple pleasure of moving. They could also walk from kiosk to kiosk to handle petanque balls, discs or balloons.

Sponsors of the program, professional dancer Kim Gingras and freestyle skier Justine Dufour-Lapointe, warmed up the crowd on stage to kick off the day. They had messages for young people.

For me, it’s continuing to be curious and looking for physical activity that makes you happy, explained the artist who danced in particular with Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé on tour. Sometimes our passion won’t necessarily be running or playing badminton. I tried karate, gymnastics, then I came across dance. That was my crush. It’s nice to search until we find what makes us feel good.

The FitSpirit program, in fact, I’ve done it a little bit all my life, says Justine Dufour-Lapointe. Throughout my career I have had my sisters by my side and they have been a source of motivation in the most difficult times. Some mornings, when I wasn’t tempted, they were my godmothers.

For me, FitSpirit is a movement to put girls at ease, adds the youngest of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters. It has no competition, it is for the pleasure of moving so that one day, perhaps, it will become a healthy lifestyle. Together, it’s motivating.

Claudine Labelle is the president and founder of the FitSpirit program, which she created 15 years ago. She this year she managed to realize her idea of ​​her in 230 high schools in Quebec, a record.

Throughout the year, girls are encouraged to move, together.

We are 70 schools from being in half of Quebec’s secondary schools and we don’t want to stop there, he explains. In an ideal world, all schools would participate in FitSpirit. Today is proof that it works.

Claudine Labelle established this program in 2007 to bridge the gap in physical activity participation that exists between girls and boys in adolescence. While the number of enrolled schools is increasing, the number of participants has decreased during the pandemic.

In 2018, the Montreal stage attracted 4,000 participants, double this year.

We have seen a number of girls abandon physical activity, it was difficult for us to see it, but this year, to be able to put them face to face, to have experiences like these today, it was really important, both for their mental health. than for our physical health. We have 6000 members of FitSpirit and we keep making it move.

The girls who are here today are our resilients and it wasn’t easy to keep them. Now, being able to access them face to face helps us enormously. When they were more isolated, many girls faced mental health problems, motivation was affected. When we are with our peers, it gives us extra motivation to want to move.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe, third-year godmother, insists on the need for a program like FitSpirit’s for teenage girls.

The girls posed a little more difficult or different than the men, explains the champion of the Sochi Games. At puberty, we are perhaps more concerned about our body and sometimes it comes to slow us down in our physical momentum. Here we remove the barriers and we are really only there to move among girls, without judgment, without competition.

The Montreal outage was the first of a series of six events.

The tour will then stop in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Rimouski, Sainte-Gertrude-de-Manneville in Abitibi, then Port-Cartier on the North Shore.

Dufour-Lapointe has not yet returned to earth

Justine Dufour-Lapointe was all smiles at the FitSpirit celebration. Sunglasses on her face, looking relaxed, the acrobatic skier looked rested.

The last few months, and even the last few years, have been hard on the body and soul. While the tears streaming down his cheeks after his fall in the finals of the Beijing Games mogul event have disappeared, the memories of him have not all dissipated.

It feels like yesterday in my head and I still feel like I’m about to return to Quebec, explains Justine Dufour-Lapointe, officially 20th in Beijing. The Games and the preparation were very intense and the tension is still slowly diminishing today. I am still in this process and I let myself go. We will see for the next few months.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe broke down in tears after crossing the finish line of her race.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick

For the moment he has not resumed training seriously.

He never gets tired of skiing with humps, especially not at -35 degrees like during the last Olympics.

Despite Radio-Canada Sports’ open questions, she remained vague about the rest of her career.

The gold medal in Sochi and the silver medal in Pyeongchang have not been on the international podium since February 2020.

I keep training here and there because it is important to do it and it is difficult to stop it, but I am a little bit status quo right now, he said. We watch the summer go by and then, in the coming months, there will be some serious training.

At 28, she is still trying to learn from her Chinese misadventure.

After a short stay in Quebec in February and a final World Cup in France, Justine Dufour-Lapointe spent a very pleasant skiing holiday, away from the bumps, with her sister Chloé.

She is better, much better, even if not everything is perfect yet.

I’m fine, but some days are more difficult than others, says the skier. I think it’s normal and this is the experience these Games will have given me. Learn to grow from this, learn to live with those emotions and find a way to do good and come out victorious.

His way of doing good on Tuesday was prominent, appreciated and successful.

She shared her joie de vivre and her passion with 2,000 teenage girls.

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