Canadians Biggs, Bourque end career
Canadian slalom specialist Patrick Biggs has announced his retirement from competitive Alpine Skiing. After nine years as a member of Canadian Ski Team, he competed in two Olympic Games, placed in the top 10 at two World Championships (9th in slalom both in Bormio 2005 and Are 2007), scored top 30 results on the World Cup tour for 7 years, stood on top of the podium 4 times at the Europa Cup and 4 times at the North American Cup. His best World Cup results were two 10th place finishes in January 2005 in Wengen and Chamonix.
29-year-old Biggs wrote: "Over the past nine years I have got to experience what few people get to see and do in a lifetime. Although I had always dreamed of being the first Canadian to win a World Cup Slalom, I leave my sport happy of what I have accomplished and with no regrets. I have given it my all."
He added: "It was a tough decision to leave the sport I love so dearly. In the end it came down to health and commitment. To compete and win I would have to get back to 100% health, which I estimated to be another year to year and a half after last year’s setbacks. At this point in my life I was not committed to spend that length of time before returning to competition."
Biggs is a very talented artist and will be focusing on a career in art and design in future after recently graduating from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in Engineering and Studio Art.
Another Canadian who is hanging up the skis is 27-year-old Francois Bourque whose career too was often hindered by injuries. Altogether the three-time Junior Worlds medalist Bourque had 105 World Cup starts in which he collected 4 World Cup podiums (3rd in super-G in GAP in February 2005; 3rd in Alta Badia GS in December 2005 and 2nd in GS in Hinterstoder in December 2006 as well as in Kranjska Gora in March 2007). He finished 4th in the GS at the Torino 2006 Olympic Games and 8th in the super-G. Then unfortunately, Bourque had three ACL operations since November 2008 when he crashed in Lake Louise, followed by another one in December 2009 - after crash in Val Gardena - and the third one in January 2011 (training crash in Kirchberg).
Francois Bourque, or Frank the Tank as he was called by his teammates, is now pursuing a career in real estate in the Quebec region of Canada.