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The Canadian city of Quebec is hosting its first winter sports tournament outside of Quebec City.
But the number of young athletes doing athletics in Quebec has suffered a drastic dip since the ski resorts closed, says Philippe Gillis.
He worries that many athletes cannot afford to take part.
In the Inuktitut language, Bille Marie Poussaint describes it as a “tragedy”.
She says that the industry that made Quebec one of the most successful province in Canada – especially in hockey – has disappeared.
“It means that our young athletes who cannot afford the necessary prices in their mind and financial situation, they don’t go,” says Poussaint, who heads the Association des sportifs et sportifs academies.
Canadian entertainment and sports company Lacoste has transformed the area around the town of Methuen, into a winter sports showcase.
It is also trying to reverse the effect of the closure of ski resorts, which saw Canadian participation in speed skating plunge by a third.
Canada’s famed Vito’s Park turned ice hockey, one of its greatest traditions, into a popularity boost of the ‘sleeping giants’ – the movement of Quebecois into the hallowed halls of the Olympics.
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But now, the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who used hockey to entice voters to his party in 2011, has found himself to be tarnished by the Olympic practice of paying for events by taxpayers’ money.
On Thursday he did nothing to dispel suspicions that the G7 summit, which was held on Canada’s east coast in the summer, was carried out on the back of public funds.
Bille Marie Poussaint hopes that, once the string of sports events comes to an end and other elite athletes are left to blame themselves, she will be able to try to put her sector in the black.
“[But] a different question is at stake,” she says. “Are the football associations for example going to hold their own games? Are they going to get sponsors for these events?”