Freestyle Skiing

Malcolm Kelly - Sunday Feb. 9, 2014 20:37 ET

Dufour-Lapointe sisters dominate again as Day 2 Newsmakers

Interviews, offers and the future all topics of conversation

Chloe, Maxime and Justine Dufour-Lapointe pose in Sochi’s Olympic Park during a whirlwind Sunday of activity, one day after the Justine and Chloe won gold and silver in women’s moguls. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Somewhere in the whirlwind that had broken out all around the Dufour-Lapointe sisters on Sunday in Sochi came a moment for the gathered media, jostling for position and a chance to ask a question in one of Canada’s official languages, to be reminded what this was really all about.

Not the women’s gold medal won by Justine, 19, or the silver by Chloe, 22, or the honourable 12th place finish by eldest sister Maxime, who on this day after was celebrating her 25th birthday.

It was about family. And joy. And respect.

“I’m sorry,” said Chloe, dealing with a question about the importance of her parents to the three suddenly famous siblings from Montreal. “I’m just so overwhelmed. This is the best moment in my life.”

Tears came. It was a day filled with joyous tears, endless interview requests, photos, tweets from the famous and not so famous, and one slightly confused proposal of marriage.

It was all there for a family whose mother, Johane, hoped would not be too changed by what’s happened and what’s to come.

This story was voted by you online as Newsmaker of the Day for the second straight time (almost 60 per cent of the total) trumping judging controversies and accidents.

For a highlight, it wasn’t hard to choose the official medal ceremony when Justine and Chloe received their rewards for years of hard work, then happily mugged for the cameras by peeking pirate-like through the crystal parts.

Giggles all around.

Justine had already left an emotional imprint by placing her hand over her heart during the national anthem – more moisture welled and flowed freely down.

What the world discovered from the young Canadian women in the 24 hours since their victory is that they are exactly what you want from Olympians – humble, happy and closely knit together.

Adelaide de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, a journalist for Eurosport, put it rather succinctly to the Canadian Press.

“It’s true that it’s notable enough for three sisters to participate in the same event at the same Olympics, but it’s even more extraordinary that two sisters won the gold and silver,” she said. “They are bubbly, they are always smiling, they are young – it’s a nice story.

“Their parents are also part of this story. We want to get to know them.”

Twitter responded with thanks and congratulations (the tennis great Roger Federer said “So cute, sport is great” and added a link to a now-famous photo of Justine and Chloe holding hands in the Saturday flower ceremony).

Other Canadian athletes chimed in (including Hayley Wickenheiser of the women’s hockey team, and skater Kirsten Moore-Towers), and there were thousands of notes from regular folks around the world.

The sisters’ own Twitter handle (@3_SDL) was adding followers by the bucketful as the hours went on.

And then there was a potential suitor named Michael, who tweeted a marriage proposal. Except he didn’t specify which sister, presumably leaving it up to them.

What next? The Dufour-Lapointes may have been dropping hints during the day.

Maxime wants to compete again, and all are hoping to get involved with ideas that can help young female athletes get more involved with sport.

Then there was this from Justine: “We love fashion. We are junkies for clothes, makeup and hairstyles. We’re not just athletes, we’re girl athletes.”

A sport clothing line can’t be far away. Or an agent, if they don’t already have one.

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