Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, better known as ABM is skiing strong for a guy just back from knee surgery.
This interview was taken back in November at the International Freeskiing Film Festival in Montreal, before Alex Beaulieu-Marchand came hot out the start gates this month at the Dew Tour slopestyle with some of the most unique style in the field. Watching ABM at Dew Tour, it’s hard to believe he’s only been back on skis a few months.
Hey ABM, I heard you haven’t been skiing in a while.
No, I haven’t skied since January 26 when I blew my knee at X Games during qualifying. It was a sad moment for me, because with my first run I actually qualified for finals, and on my second run I blew my knee. It’s always a dream to be in the X Games final, and not being able to compete sucked.
But now it’s six months later and I’m gonna start skiing again. I’m really stoked, I’m feeling really strong and I worked really hard to get my knee back, and I can’t wait to ski.
What happened exactly?
On the last jump I did a double bio 12 and went too big and overrotated. I feel like with the adrenaline, I spun a bit faster than I usually do and went bigger, so I couldn’t stop my rotation and over-rotated to 14, backseat, and [my knee] popped. ACL, nothing else, so I’m pretty lucky.
I’m sure you had a full winter planned after X Games.
I was supposed to do a bunch of contests and then go back and film more street. I’d filmed some street during Christmas, but I was definitely hoping to film some more to get a full part together. But it all collapsed, and I went straight home, to the gym.
You went back to Quebec City?
Yeah, I was supposed to be living in Colorado, I’d rented a house for a year. But I had to go back home because that’s where I could get health care and get my surgery, and I had a trainer and everything with the Canadian team. So I couldn’t really stay in the U.S., and had to go back home and take care of myself.
You got some solid support from the Canadian team?
For sure, it really helped so much to have someone telling you what to do, all the exercises and stuff. I don’t know anything about that, I just do what he tells me to do and that’s pretty much it. Having a bunch of physio and everyone looking at my knee a lot is really going to give me a good chance at coming back strong.
What are you looking forward to this winter?
I’m looking forward to having some fun, man, and just enjoying the skiing. I know I’m going to be doing a bunch of contests, that’s what I need to do basically, but I’m definitely trying to film also and I know what my projects are going to be. Hopefully I’m going to put a movie together with some other people if that’s possible. But for the main part, I’m just going to try to get better at skiing in all the aspects, and enjoy it.
If you had to choose between an X Games podium, and a banger 4-minute segment in a good movie, what would you pick?
I would probably take the X Games podium because I’ve never done that before. I’ve been filming segments for movies since I was twelve. And I wouldn’t really want a banger segment in a movie that’s not my own kind of thing. Now I want to be more involved in a project with some people, and not just go film for a company and have some shots in their movie. I really want to work on my own stuff like JF did, or Clayton and Cam are doing. They’re working on their own projects, they put it all together, and I feel like that’s way sicker in the end because it’s really how you want it to be, not how everyone else would make it.
By the way, props for probably the wildest unintentional trick at the Olympics.
That was crazy, a really weird rotation. To be honest it wasn’t on purpose. I was trying to do the switch cork 9 nose tap, but before in practice I was doing switch bio 9 nose tap. I hit the doll super heavy on my nose and it threw me kind of bio. I’d already done that trick and I kind of knew the feeling, so I just went with it and landed, and was like, what the fuck happened?
Do you think you’ve got another run at the Olympics?
We’ll see, really. I just want to get better, learn new tricks, but at the same time, competition is definitely super hard right now, and if I need to be doing both-way triples or stuff like that, I don’t want to get injured or fuck myself up just to go the Olympics. It’s in three years, and it seems so far away. Two years before the Olympics was the first time in a pro contest for me, so I never thought that I could ever go to the Olympics, but it happened. So I don’t know if there’s going to be a new kid coming up who’ll be better than me, or it’ll just be the next chapter in my skiing. But I’m just going to take it year by year and keep having fun and get better. If it happens, cool—if it doesn’t, I’m going to be doing something else that’s going to be dope.
What’s the best thing about being from Quebec?
The best thing about being from Quebec is that there’s snow all the time here! I grew up in the cold, in the snow, and for urban skiing I feel like it’s the best environment—I almost never want to go somewhere else to ski urban. I go to other places, but I feel like, damn, I could probably get more stuff done if I was home. There’s snow all the time, I know the place, I have a bunch of setups in mind, so why go anywhere else to ski urban? It’s pretty much the best place.
Give a shoutout to a Quebecois skier who stoked you out when you were a kid.
Charles Gagnier and JF Houle were my two biggest idols when I was young. They were more like my time—there was Phil Belanger and all these other guys, but when I started freeskiing, Charles won X Games the year after. And we were skiing my home mountain with Vinnie, his little brother, and I was trying to follow them. They were a big inspiration for sure.