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With 22 World Cup podium finishes so far in his career, Mont Tremblant's Erik Guay is the winningest men's alpine skier in Canadian history. We caught up with the 33-year-old athlete and Canadian national team member at his gym, Premier Fitness Studio – PowerWatts in Montreal, before he headed off to Switzerland to start another season on the slopes.

Erik Guay

What's your packing style?
I fold at the beginning of a trip, but sometimes I'm away for as long as three months at a stretch, so by the end, I usually scrunch
or stuff – whatever it takes to get everything back into the bag. 

Do you enjoy all the travel you have to do for work?
I've been to almost every continent and seen some of the world's most beautiful mountains. Freedom is being on a mountain at 5:30 a.m., watching the sunrise when there's no one else up there. It's a special kind of feeling. 

Who are your downhill heroes?
I grew up in the shadow of the Crazy Canuck era, and for sure Steve Podborski and Ken Reid were inspirations. But I really looked up to the European skiers like Alberto Tomba and Marc Girardelli ‑ guys who were winning all the time when I was a kid.

What are your favourite souvenirs?
I look for souvenirs that are unique to the areas where I'm competing, like vintage 1920s ski-themed woodcarvings from Val Gardena, Italy, or beer steins from Austria.

Any packing tips?
I pack my ski equipment – skis, boots, helmets, goggles and paraphernalia – separately from my personal things like clothes, socks and underwear. And I take a dirty-laundry bag to Europe because for some reason, you can't find them anywhere over there. 

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