The pioneer of the freeski Philippe Dion embarked in business during the pandemic.
May 22, 2020 21h55
Updated at 22h04
The ex-skier Philippe Dion is launching a school of mountain bike
Many entrepreneurs fear for their business in this period of pandemic COVID-19. Accustomed to the maneuvers, daredevil, pioneer of freeskiing Philippe Dion is not one of those. This is why he decided to start a business during this troubled period.
His company is called Phil Up Experience Mountain, and he will give courses, mountain bike on Saturday and cross-country skiing during the winter.
“This project, I thought about it for a long time, but this is where I decided to put it on,” says Dion, who is far away from the freeskiing since his retirement.
“You know, me and the other two Phil (Belanger and Larose), we invented a sport that became olympic. After my career, I became a team manager international for two years. But after, when I went back to Quebec, I fell in depression, I fell into the alcohol, I have experienced a divorce, I had all sorts of problems”, he explains.
After overcoming his demons for the first time, Philippe Dion is recycled in the field of restoration. He has managed for five years the restaurant Commensal on Saint-Jean then became director of procurement at Pacini.
“I ended up losing my job at Pacini and there I fell strong. It was very hard for pride”, he said about this event that occurred a year ago and a half.
Return to the source
Recently, the former skier has finally decided to go and 29 days in therapy. “A provident decision. I’m really found. It’s now been four months that I have not taken a drink and I said to myself that I needed to return to my passion for the sport,” he continued.
For the past few years, Philippe Dion has in effect developed a new passion for mountain biking and ski touring. “I live in Lac-Beauport and the path of the mill is really exceptional. The trail Wolverine is one of the most hot in the world, but there was no school here”, lance-t-il.
“The pandemic has hit while I was in therapy, but I told myself that I needed to run my school as soon as I’d completed my therapy. This is what I did. I just put it online and I’ve already got an excellent response from the people. It is said that during the pandemic, people buy swimming pools, dogs, and bikes. I can see that this is true for the bikes”, he says.
“For my school, I’m not in performance, but in the experience and advice. And one of the beauties of the forest, it is that you have the space, then this is not a problem to respect the two-metre distance during my training. I did not intend to make large groups,” explains the athlete.
Children and friends
Moreover, it is impossible to speak to Philippe Dion, without asking him if he happens to make new freeskiing. “I do only when I want to show my guys that I am still able to do a 360!”, he said with a chuckle.
His son, Renaud, 12, and Roman, 13, are, like him, athletic and a little daredevil. Renaud practice skateboarding and snowboarding, while Roman is a skier like his father.
Philippe Dion also remained very close to Philippe Bélanger and Philippe Larose and you can feel it when he begins to speak of his former cronies.
Larose became a carpenter specializing in furniture to the former, while Bélanger, after having been a judge at the olympic Games, just bought the ski shop and bike Genetik Sport, which will also act as a partner of Phil Up Experience Mountain.
“We live near one another and we stayed the best of friends. I find that this is the most beautiful accomplishment that I can keep it this time. We went through all sorts of things and we’ve stayed close,” concludes Dion.