How does an Olympian spend the winter season in the Eastern Townships? Curious to find out, we contacted Miha Fontaine, a young freestyle skier from Magog, winner of a bronze medal in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.

Live from Finland, where Miha was training at the end of 2023, the sports star took time to chat to us about his favourite activities when he’s in his home region.

How do you usually spend the winter?

Skiing, of course! I’m a real enthusiast and I have so much fun on the mountains. I also practise a number of other winter sports. I’ve even taken up snowboarding!

In order to concentrate on my sport, I currently live in the Quebec City area, but I often return to the Eastern Townships to visit my family and… ski!

©Canadian Olympic Committee

Describe winter in the Eastern Townships in three words.

Awesome! Stunning!! Inviting!!!

What are your favourite things to do when you’re in the Townships?

I love being active in the outdoors. I skate with my grandfather on Lake Memphremagog. That’s been our tradition for years, but I must admit it’s more enjoyable when it isn’t too windy!

I also love wandering along rue Principale (Main Street) in Magog. It’s a pleasant activity in itself—taking time to amble past the stores and to window shop…

And your favourite mountain?

Mount Orford! That’s where I learned to ski, and I come back often. I love the expert-level “Contour” trail. It has multiple pitches on different levels with sudden drops, and after a good snowstorm, it’s a superb run!

We’re spoiled for choice in Quebec. Even though the slopes are shorter than in the Alps, each mountain has its own characteristics and challenges. And let’s not forget the après-ski scene! Orford during the spring season brings back fond memories of après-ski in Europe.

How do you like to unwind and cocoon?

When I come back from a long day on the slopes, I like to sip on a hot chocolate by the fire and watch a good movie. I’m particularly fond of comedies and thrillers.

What’s in store for you in 2024?

Even if isn’t an Olympic year for me, I’ll be competing at various events. The World Cup, for example, will be in Lac-Beauport where I’m living just now, so that will be extra special! And then, I’ll be training, skiing, relaxing…. During the summer, I’ll do a lot of mountain biking, so I’m certainly going to make the most of this coming year!

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