Sochi Olympics a family affair for many Canadian athletes

Watch the video above: Beyond The Podium: A Family Affair. Allison Vuchnich reports. 

Sometimes, athletic ability just runs in the family.

Five sets of siblings are heading to Sochi as part of the Canadian Olympic Team, and given their recent performance, it’s possible they could be bringing home five medals.

The Dufour-Lapointe sisters – Justine, Chloe and Maxime – are among the best in the world at their sport: ranked second, third and fifth in world moguls standings. This is the first Winter Olympics in which Canada is sending three siblings in the same sport.

“Being the three of us at the Games will be an amazing thing,” said Maxime, the oldest.

“I think having my sisters with me training together, sharing our time, sharing a room, it’s great,” said Justine, the youngest.

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“I think I would be really proud and happy if we could share the podium together. That would be crazy, totally insane!”

Video: Justine and Maxime Dufour-Lapointe practice their jumps

Tightly-knit speed skating teams

Charles and François Hamelin know the feeling: In Vancouver, the brothers shared a gold medal for short track speed skating relay.

“It’s something to reach the podium at the Olympics but reaching the podium with your brother on the same step, it’s something really special,” Charles said. “And to be able to compete with my brother in the second Olympic in a row, it’s something almost unique for our sport and for speed skating.”

Charles also won a gold medal in Vancouver for the 500-metre race, and silver in Turin as a member of the 5,000-metre relay team.

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The two Hamelins, from Sainte-Julie, Quebec, will skate against each other in the individual races but will team up again for the relay.

Video: After skating together for 20 years, the Hamelin brothers know each other’s skating patterns inside and out.

Jessica and Jamie Gregg make up another speed-skating sibling pair going to Sochi. Jessica competes in short track, and her brother Jamie in long track.

“It’s good to have somebody in the same boat as you, cheering you on and someone else to cheer on,” Jamie said. “It is quite nerve-wracking watching your sister compete. I’m a lot more nervous when I’m watching her than when I’m about to race.”

The Greggs come from athletic roots – their parents actually met while competing at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Their mother is speed skater Kathy Vogt, who represented Canada at two Olympics. Their father, hockey player Randy Gregg, is a five-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Edmonton Oilers. He later became a family doctor.

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The speed-skating team has yet another family connection, this one through marriage: Jamie Gregg is married to Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg, who is also competing in long track speed skating. Danielle is the sister of Canadian speed-skating icon Jeremy Wotherspoon, who failed to qualify for Sochi.

Video: Jamie Gregg explains his athletic family.

The other Olympic siblings representing Canada in Sochi are:

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