nadian armed forces and has been sent to Haiti to help with the relief efforts.
A talented junior racer, Henault has been racing almost his entire life. “I almost made
the Quebec Regional Team, but then went on to college,” says Henault. “After racing in
college, I then coached for about seven years, raised four kids, and started racing masters again when I was about 35.”
Henault has spent most of his career working as a broker for printing contracts, and
recently started a home renovation company. During the winter of 2006-07, Henault
finally found enough time to try out the New England Masters Series and has never
looked back. “The race organizations are so good, and the courses are all long and challenging,” says Henault. “But mostly we keep coming back because of the friends we’ve
made there, who make us feel so welcome.”
With her long red hair, Johanne Gosselin is easy to pick out of a crowd. She’s also one
of the top racers in Canada and the U.S. in her Class 6. As a public school physical education teacher for the past 38 years, Gosselin is well aware of the relationship between
fitness and performance. “Every weekend I’m racing either here or in the U.S.,” says
Gosselin, who also finds time to train a few days each week at St. Sauveur when she’s not
teaching or helping out with the family business, selling medical equipment.
Like Henault, Gosselin was a talented junior ski racer and continued racing in college. Her three children also inherited her ski racing gene, and rose to the highest levels
within the province. They were instrumental in getting her back into ski racing in her
late 30s, when she started training alongside her children.
And like Henault and Masse, Gosselin is a Canadian national masters ski racing titlist
and relishes the challenge of racing in New England, as well as the resulting friendships.
“You guys are just so nice,” says Gosselin.
Unlike his ski racing friends, Guillaume DePaoli (now in Class 9) came into skiing and
ski racing relatively late in life. Born in Italy, DePaoli came with his family to Canada
when he was 11; he then started skiing at age 22. “It was one day after college graduation,” says DePaoli. “I just knew that it was something special and something I’d be
doing for the rest of my life.”
DePaoli’s children all were involved in ski racing, and his daughter climbed all the way
up to the Quebec Regional Team. DePaoli was an avid and competent skier by that time,
and when the kids were old enough to be traveling with their coaches, DePaoli decided
to give ski racing a shot. “It was 1984 that I started racing,” he says.
When he started cutting back from his job at a construction firm, where he was a partner, DePaoli hit the circuit. “I’ve traveled all over Canada, raced in Europe, and about
four years ago started coming to the States,” he says.
DePaoli says he also values the friendships he’s made in New England, and adds:
“We really enjoy the manner you people receive us. It’s one of the biggest reasons
we do this.”
Michel Masse and sons.