Alex Bilodeau was sick - sore throat, headache - but that didn't stop him from spending Monday on the glacier, teaching the next generation of freestyle athletes some of the tricks that put him on top of the world last February. Or from sitting down with Pique to discuss life and the future of freestyle skiing.
It's been a busy five months for Bilodeau, one of the most recognizable heroes of the 2010 Olympics. He is in demand as a speaker, promoter, coach and fundraiser, on top of his own commitments as an elite athlete. At just 22 years old he could be skiing moguls for Canada at the Olympics in 2014, 2018 and even 2022 if he stays healthy, and be a fixture on the World Cup.
It's been a whirlwind, but one Bilodeau has enjoyed from the moment the gold medal was placed around his neck.
"I got to go to a lot of events at the Games, a lot of skating events, skiing events, the sliding centre and some hockey games which was pretty cool and exciting," he said. "(Since then) I've been speaking at a lot of conferences, I've gone to events with Sidney Crosby a few times and a lot of fundraisers. It's been pretty busy, and I've had to find time to go skiing as well."
Bilodeau says his time with family and friends has been short, but he heads back to his home at Rosemere, Quebec at every opportunity.
"They know that I come home when I can, and all along everyone has been really understanding that I'm on the road a lot, so they have my thanks. Everyone has been behind me so much in my career, and I've always been grateful for that."
Bilodeau won Canada's first gold medal of the 2010 Games, not to mention the first gold by a Canadian in three Olympic Games in Canada. Prior to his victory at Cypress, Canada was the only Olympic host nation in history not to win a gold medal.
But what made Bilodeau such a great story was Bilodeau himself - serious, humble and well-spoken in interviews, deferential to his family and visibly proud of an older brother who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy more than 15 years ago.
It was his brother and the need to find activities that the family could do together that prompted the family to start skiing on the weekends rather than following Bilodeau and his hockey team from arena to arena. It was a tough sell at first, but after the seven-year-old Bilodeau saw Jean-Luc Brassard win moguls gold in 1994 in Lillehammer he quickly shifted his focus to moguls.