Maxime Dufour-Lapointe – Be Olympic

My sisters left the Sochi Olympics with medals. I did not. Everyone always asks me: “How did it feel to watch them celebrate on the podium, given you wanted to be up there, too? Were you jealous?”

My answer has always been the same: I was very happy and very proud of them. I know there are skeptics out there, but I really mean it!

I may not have been on that podium with Justine and Chloe, but it was a shared moment because we’d been training together all the time to get there. I knew they were achieving their dreams and, as their sister, that was my dream, too.

What does it mean to be Olympic? To me it’s about family, it’s about sisters. It’s knowing you’re always there to support each other and and you’re each a little bit stronger because of it. When you work together with others, and you have this unity of purpose, there’s strength in that. I think that’s true for all of us, and not just in sports.

A lot of people seem to think we should be in competition with each other: sibling rivalry. I’m sure there are people who don’t get along with their sister or brother and I’ve experienced some of that myself. My mum told me that when Chloe was born, I actually asked my parents if we could take her back to the hospital. I really wasn’t happy to share the attention with her.

Obviously that didn’t happen, and Justine was born three years later. We learned to get along.

When we were young, we skied in the winter and sailed in the summer, and that had a big influence on us. If you’ve ever been on a sailboat, you’ll know it’s a very small environment. Living together was fun, but if we were fighting, there was nowhere to go. Jump overboard? Forget it, my parents would come back to get us. So basically, we had to figure things out and do conflict resolution.

Our upbringing, our family values, and the fact we choose to promote ourselves as a trio — no matter what — really created our unity. We’re all different, but we’ve learned our differences are our biggest strength. When we share our strengths, we become an even bigger whole.

Going to the Olympics together was a dream come true and it’s important we were there together. While the venue was bigger, we didn’t change how we prepare or how we stick together. That support makes a difference in these circumstances.

There’s nothing I would change about my Olympic experience. I’m so proud of my sisters for achieving their goals. I achieved mine, becoming an Olympian, and I know I did everything in the race to do the best. I was at peace with myself, and I had my two sisters doing crazy things. It was a symbol of our unity and our work together. It’s an example of what it means to be Olympic.