Who is he? Phil Langevin is a 16-yearold athlete from tremblant, quebec. He started skiing when he was 3 and got into slopestyle skiing about 8 years ago with one of his older brothers. He followed this path since the first day in Tremblant’s snowpark. He is now a member of the National Canadian Slopestyle Ski Team, Level C and was very successful last year.
“I always wanted sports to be fun and enjoyable for my children and, when I noticed my son’s potential for slopestyle, I encouraged him! I never had to push him; the motivation and drive have always been natural,” says Phil’s father, Eric. In the few years I’ve known him, he’s always been a dedicated athlete and a hard worker, while staying incredibly humble. These qualities were a priority for his father and all his children, and this is what his coaches noticed right away. He has worked his way up pretty fast and, last year only, he managed to win all the Nor-Am Series and Canadian Open competitions he entered, allowing him to evolve on the World Cup circuit this year. He will thus be competing against athletes who are 3 to 4 years older than him.
Skiers he used to look up to. No matter what, he remains calm and grounded… It seems he might have found his magical recipe for success. He plans on giving his best this season and learn from this year to keep on stepping up his game while hoping to switch up to Level A or B of the Canadian Slopestyle Ski Team. “It is my first year competing at the World Cup level and I also dream of making it to the Olympics, but I’m still not putting too much pressure on myself at this point.” You might wonder what his magical recipe is before a competition? Well, he hits the gym and cycles to awaken his cardiovascular system. He tries to have as much fun as possible to stay confident but still needs that little nervousness inside. “I know my run so I do a lot of visualization and I do that same run over and over again on practice time.” He tries not to look at others to keep the stress level from plummeting, and then, he crosses his fingers hoping that all goes well. If stress makes him lose control, he applies breathing techniques to release the pressure, or he steps out of the crowd, runs a little and puts on his earphones to listen to music. When his name is called, he knows he will be ready.
“There’s nothing left on my mind but that huge blank while I drop in. I’m so focused I don’t even know if I’m breathing haha. When you get in your run, the stress is gone in seconds. It’s a huge rush of adrenaline that stays until you get back up the set and get your score.” He has had an awesome attitude since he was very young, always excited for his friends to win competitions even when he was reaching for the win too. In his younger years, he was especially influenced by Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, but he is now becoming a role model for younger skiers himself. I’ve seen kids looking up at him with shiny eyes while being astonished of how nice and inclusive he is with them.
“I MET PHILIPPE WHEN HE WAS 10 YEARS OLD AND I KNEW RIGHT AWAY THAT HE HAD TALENT. BUT IT’S HIS ENERGY, HIS DETERMINATION AND MOSTLY HIS PASSION FOR SKIING THAT BROUGHT HIM WHERE HE IS TODAY AND WHERE HE WANTS TO GO.”
—PHILIPPE MORIN, QUEBEC SLOPESTYLE SKI TEAM
It’s great to see a young man like Phil showing as much humility even if he is conscious that many skiers are reaching out to him for advice. He still takes the time to share his passion with them. With that in mind, I asked what his best tip for next generations would be and he tells me to, “Never let the falls or the bad runs getin the way, always get back up and try again. Think further than the rotation and always be aware of what else you can do to improve your tricks and feed your passion while staying around people that push you forward.” According to his former coach Philippe Morin, Phil L. is a vibe leader, always there to motivate the troops with his contagious energy and eternal good mood. There is not a single competition that he doesn’t want to enter. For Phil L., becoming a pro skier is not about the fame or only about being good at skiing. It’s also about that attitude that brings so much fun to the sport he loves. Even when they are competing against each other, he is sensitive to others around him. If another athlete is stressed out, he’ll reach out to help him get back in focus so that everybody gets his best shot and vice versa. “I’m lucky because it can happen to me too. When it does, my friends are there to help me get back on track. The team is like a family, we don’t feel the competition between us. We keep the spirit high, we have fun together, and we get to push each other whenever someone wants to try a huge trick. We ski because we love it and that comes with friends to ski with.” With all that fun also comes responsibilities. Being an extreme sport athlete brings a higher level of risk. Even though his dad believes he might have a sixth sense that allows him to fall back on his skis, there’s a lot of constant training and focus that help him avoid injuries. Philippe wants (and does) put precision and style into every single one of his tricks. He is not only a perfectionist on the slopes, but also all year long in his everyday training. “When I hit the gym with a specific training objective, I will repeat it every single day until I get it perfectly and then I move to the next. It’s very important to be focused on staying healthy in order to keep the injuries away.”
“I’d like to thank SBC for giving me the opportunity to be featured here. A huge thanks to my dad who’s been behind me since the very beginning, to my brother Xavier, who acts as a manager, and to my family. Thanks to my coaches and my teammates. I’m lucky to be surrounded by all these great people I’ve met who make skiing better. A huge thanks to all my sponsors who make my dream possible. I certainly hope to honour them again this year. I feel lucky to be trusted by Station Mont Tremblant, it’s very cool to have the support of my hometown. I love coming back here and skiing with all my buddies.”
sponsors: station mont tremblant, armada, shred, slide tech pro, magasin de la place, faded and fairmont construction.
Words: Theresa Gauthier