February 18, 2018 6:24 pm
Updated: February 18, 2018 9:27 pm

Alberta siblings make the coach-athlete relationship work

WATCH ABOVE: Alex Gagnon suffered a knee injury and has found an interesting way to recover, she's now training her younger brother. Quinn Phillips reports.


Fort Saskatchewan’s Alex Gagnon was all set up to move to the national judo training centre when she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus in her knee at nationals last May.

But she didn’t let the injury keep her away from the sport. While she’s been rehabilitating, she’s taken on coaching duties.

“I’m happy she’s coaching,” said Nicholas Gagnon, Alex’s 16-year-old brother. “It’s good to see her doing two aspects of the sport.”

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Here’s the catch: it means that 18-year-old Alex is coaching her little brother Nicholas at the Alberta Winter Games in Wood Buffalo.

READ MORE: Alberta teen born an amputee excels in archery at Alberta Winter Games

“When I see her I see my big sister,” said Nicholas. “I’m trying not to goof around with her.”

“I like coaching Nick,” said Alex. “I coached him at a couple of tournaments beforehand so I know what throws he will use and what he’s strong at, what he’s weak act.”

But it isn’t always easy on big sister.

The dual role of coach-athlete is paying off. Nicholas is the number two ranked fighter in his weight class in Canada and before her injury, Alex was also ranked number two.

“When he’s fighting I feel like I’m fighting,” said Alex. “I just want the best for him so it makes me nervous when he’s about to fight.”

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