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Anne-Marie Lefrancois to retire from Canadian Ski Team


Anne-Marie Lefrancois to retire from Canadian Ski Team{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY (QC) January 24, 2005 – Two-time Canadian champion Anne-Marie Lefrancois announced this past week, her final competitive races as a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team will take place before hometown fans at the 2005 Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships in the Quebec City region in March.

“To end my racing career in the area where I started it will be very special to me,” said Ms. Lefrancois, a racer known for her always-radiant smile who spent almost a decade competing for Alpine Canada Alpin internationally.

“The highlight of my career was participating in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake and I leave still loving skiing – not just at 130 kilometres an hour all the time.”

Ms. Lefrancois, who in 2001 won the Canadian Super-G championship at Mont Ste. Anne, said she is excited to again show her best in mid March when the resort and nearby Le Massif co-host the 2005 Pontiac GMC Championships. She also won the national downhill title the following year at Whistler, British Columbia.

Nagging injuries, which twice sidelined the 28-year-old for complete seasons, were a key reason for her decision to stop competitive racing at the end of the 2004-2005 season. “I had hoped for more progress and now I will move on to complete my education starting next Fall,” she said, after battling back from a major knee injury suffered at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, early in the season after the Winter Games. “I am really looking forward to exploring all my options but I am very interested in engineering.”

Ms. Lefrancois said the women’s team has changed dramatically from when she was named to the national team in 1996.” It is not as lonely anymore,” she said. “It is a big team now, with young racers who are skiing so well, and very good veterans. There is much momentum and excitement.”

“I want to thank all my sponsors over the years, especially TELUS and Habiter.com for their tremendous support this season” praised Ms. Lefrancois.

Alpine Canada Alpin Chief Athletics Officer Max Gartner praised the tremendous contribution of Ms. Lefrancois to the team and to the sport over nine years. “There was no quit in Anne-Marie, and she always had a constant goal to do her best every time she raced. She has been an important part of our team and a strong influence on our younger racers,” said Mr. Gartner.

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