GeneralInterviewsOtherRacingUnder 23 Questions with Frédérique Vézina

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 2, 2017
Canada's Frédérique Vézina (CNEPH) training at Sovereign Lake near Vernon, B.C., last December. (Courtesy photo)
Canada’s Frédérique Vézina (CNEPH) training at Sovereign Lake near Vernon, B.C., last December. (Courtesy photo)

In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) 2017 USANA Nordic Junior World Championships and U23 Cross Country World Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 22-year-old Frédérique Vézina, of the the Centre National d’Entraînement Pierre-Harvey (CNEPH), a.k.a. Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre, who’s representing Canada at her second U23 Worlds.

On Thursday, she finished 25th in the women’s 10 k freestyle for her first U23 Worlds top 30.

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“My full name is Frédérique Vézina, but you can call me Fred or mom. I was born in Québec, raised in Saint-Ferréol-Les-Neiges, and one thing you should know about my hometown is yes, we do get a lot of snow in the winter time! As Saint-Ferréol-Les-Neiges might not sound familiar to you, it’s the city in which Mont-Sainte-Anne is.

Canada's Frédérique Vézina racing to 39th in the women's 10 k classic at 2016 U23 World Championships in Rasnov, Romania. (Courtesy photo)
Canada’s Frédérique Vézina racing to 39th in the women’s 10 k classic at 2016 U23 World Championships in Rasnov, Romania. (Courtesy photo)

I started cross-country skiing when I was two, thanks to my parents who decided to spend my energy overflow in the best way possible.

I currently train in Saint-Ferréol-Les-Neiges (or Mont-Sainte-Anne) with CNEPH.

If I’m not skiing, you might find me cooking and dancing in the kitchen, or studying in my robe, or volunteering for Nunavik’s cross country ski clubs!

If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be… I seriously don’t know, but my last reads were: Chris Hadfield’s ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’, ‘Born to Run’, ‘Les 4 Accords Toltèques’, and ‘Un Avion Sans Elle’.

One of the things I’m most excited about for U23/Junior Worlds at Soldier Hollow is having my brother and my parents fly over to cheer for me. One race I’m especially targeting there is the skiathlon.

The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was to race against the course.

One of the best race memories I have is my first win at Midget NorAms. I did not expect anything. The race was 3.5km long (it felt long at that time) and was held on a farm so the spectators could see most of it from the highest point of the course except for that one 400 meters in the woods. After the mass start, we were a group of 15 girls tight together. Then came the time when we went into the woods. I surprised myself by coming out of it first. I remember my parents surprised and cheering so happily seeing me up front. I kept pushing hard, doing my thing and concentrating on skiing well even though I was pretty excited inside. I finally crossed the finish line in first place! The hugs from my brother, family, friends and coaches at the finish made me realize what just happened. At that particular moment I knew I was going to be a skier for the years to come.

If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be Marit Bjorgen.

If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be a doctor.

I’m missing 21 days of school to be here, and my professors are probably thinking, How is she even able to do both at the same time?’ I even had a colleague in class asking what program I switched to. Well surprise, I’m still in your program, I’m just not going to school very often!

You can follow me on Twitter at @FrederiqueVez and Instagram @fredvezina.”

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