Jack Leitch recently announced his retirement from Para alpine skiing following a successful career in the sport. Leitch had been acting as Mac Marcoux’s guide for the past two years with the National Para Alpine skiing team.
During the 2016-2017 season, the duo won four gold medals and one silver at the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. They competed together at the World Cup Final in March 2017, claiming the title of World Cup season downhill champions.
At the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Marcoux and Leitch won gold in downhill and bronze in the giant slalom.
Leitch says it was important to be a strong skier in order to be a good guide because his responsibility was to give Marcoux the ability to finish races. The 22-year-old was a member of the Alberta Provincial team prior to his commitment as Mac’s guide. He says he has learned a lot about skiing by being a guide.
“Honestly, my skiing got better with Mac […]. You learn to be a lot more aware of [the environment]. I had to let Mac know what was going on at all times,” said the Calgary native in an interview shortly after he announced his retirement.
The pair also got along off the snow as well which was definitely beneficial for their performances on the hill.
Their toughest races were the slalom events because skiers are not allowed to touch the gates as they go down the course. That said, Leitch found that it was always a fun challenge. He also found his favourite events from before his role as a guide to be even better in Mac’s presence: ‘’I always loved downhill and super G on my own so [with Mac] it was a blast.”
Leitch is confident that his decision to retire is the right one.
“I am at that point in my life. When I came into this gig, it was a two-year verbal agreement and the plan was to see where it would go from there. It was an awesome two years but I am ready to step back and pursue education for a little bit.”
Leitch recently applied for a Business degree and is working on building his plans for the future now that he is retired from the sport.