CALGARY – Tristan Rodgers of Ottawa is leaving school for the slopes after being announced today as the new guide for multiple Para alpine skiing Paralympic and world champion Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Rodgers, a bilingual 19-year-old second-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Ottawa, skied for four seasons with the Mont Tremblant Ski Club and competed on the FIS circuit earning seven top-20 finishes last season.
It was Canadian Para alpine ski team head coach Jean-Sebastien Labrie and Mont Tremblant Ski Club head coach Jocelyn Huot who introduced Rodgers to possibly becoming a guide.
Marcoux’s previous partner Jack Leitch retired after the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games to pursue his business education at Royal Roads University.
Rodgers plans to complete his studies in the future but just couldn’t pass up this golden opportunity.
“This is a great experience,’’ said Rodgers. ‘’Mac and I get along very well and after this second training camp in Chile we just completed, I have learned so much already.’’
Rodgers says he is intrigued by the team work that will be required while reaching speeds in excess of 100 km/h in the downhill and negotiating the gates at full flight in the technical events.
‘’This is a whole new experience for me, and I like the fact that it takes away a lot of pressure on my own personal performance. It’s now all about communicating and collaborating with Mac to make this work.’’
Marcoux, who began to lose his vision at age nine due to Stargardt’s disease and was declared legally blind in 2007, is pleased to land a skier with Rodgers’ skill set.
“Tristan and I have gotten along great thus far,’’ he said. ‘’He’s a very solid skier, incredibly fit and strong, and we’re building a lot of confidence which is key heading into the season.”
Still only 21, Marcoux has collected two gold and three bronze medals at the last two Paralympic Games and five gold and three silver at the last three world championships.
The first World Cup race on the 2018-19 calendar for Marcoux and Rodgers is in St-Moritz, Switzerland starting December 12, 2018.