ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 7 (Reuters) - While there is no shortage of sibling rivalry at the Sochi Olympics, Canada’s three Dufour-Lapointe sisters are standing out from the family pack because they could well take more than one medal back to Montreal with them.
Trailblazer Maxime, 24, Chloe, 22, and Justine, 19, have all qualified for Saturday’s moguls final and the younger two are strong contenders for the podium in the oldest of the Olympic freestyle skiing events.
Defending champion Hannah Kearney remains a formidable obstacle in the path to gold but Justine has challenged the American in the World Cup this year while Chloe pipped her teenage sister to qualify in second place in Thursday’s heats.
Maxime joined them by qualifying in eighth and although the sisters have decided to let their skis do the talking while they prepare for Saturday night’s showdown, Justine summed up their feelings earlier this week.
“It was really emotional,” she said of all three sisters making the powerhouse Canadian team.
”We were all really stoked. When we really realised we were all going together to the Games we were just proud and excited.
“But now that we’re here we’ve calmed down and I think we’re just focusing on each of our races. We came here together but we will ski for ourselves.”
While the sort of good looks that are an ad mans dream ensure that any success in Sochi will mean plenty of attention back home after the Games, the sisters are not setting any kind of record simply by competing.
There have been more siblings from one family in one event - a quartet of Tames brothers competed for Mexico in bobsled at the Calgary Games in 1988 - and even at Rosa Khutor’s Extreme Park there is a rival family from New Zealand.
The Wells brothers Jossi, 23, Byron, 21, and Beau-James, 18, are all competing in the freestyle skiing and are coached by father Bruce.
“It took a little while to sink in I think,” Bruce told reporters after slopestyle training on Friday.
“The boys and I have worked together for a long time now (but) last night I was sitting down with them and thought ‘wow, I‘m actually at the Olympics and I’ve got three of my boys here’. It’s pretty cool.”
With a fourth son, Jackson, already making great strides in the sport, there is a chance the Wells family could even outnumber the Dufour-Lapointe’s at the next Winter Olympics in 2018.
”He’s killing it,“ Bruce said of the 15-year-old. ”Love what he’s doing, his style is just out of this world, quite unique and it would be great to see it happen.
“I‘m sure he’ll head down the same way, they all love skiing and he’s pretty disciplined with it so he’ll get there.” (Editing by Peter Rutherford)