By Alysha Campbell
Lucas Boudreau, crossing the finish line first and was born four minutes before his twin, Andre.
Since their race into the world, they have battled head to head in everything they do, from girls to school and their shared passion, biathlon.
Strapping skis to their feet and rifles to their backs, the race doesn’t end when they cross the finish line.
Their mother, Lynn Boudreau, knows the competition runs deeper than the sport.
“At the end of the day when they walk through those doors there is always a winner and a loser in our house.”
Lucas stepped into the spotlight of the biathlon world recently, leaving Andre feeling like a shadow to his success.
“I was happy for him, but a lot of it was jealousy.”
After his brother won the youth and junior championships, and was declared the North American champion, Andre was filled with resentment and anger, he said.
“I went to a really dark place during those months and months after the season too. I was not a nice person to be around.”
Friend and former biathlete Josh Richard saw the competition between the twins up close two years ago.
“The competition was good for the both of them, if one was outshining the other, then they would try that much harder to catch up and pass him.”
While the competition was good as athletes, the sibling conflict was hard to ignore, said Richards.
“Lucas has always been more consistent, Andre is more of a wildcard.”
Richard was called the ‘third Boudreau’ because of the bond between the boys, on and off skis. Not only was he witness to the competitive drive of the brothers but felt his own towards them.
“It was always a goal of mine, every race to beat at least one Boudreau.”
It is always a fight to the end, a fight for every race and spot on teams, said Lucas.
“It’s definitely tough competing with him at times. When I made Team Canada, the dynamic in the home wasn’t good at all.”
Best friends, rivals and brothers, they always found a way to get on each other’s nerves, Lucas said.
As parents Lynn and Darryl Boudreau don’t think they handled the situation the right way Lucas became North American champion, said Lynn.
“Darryl and I messed up as parents. We tiptoed around Andre when Lucas made it and he didn’t.”
Andre needed to live through it, feel the hurt and learn from it, Lynn said.
“We stayed silent, we were too scared of hurting Andre that we didn’t celebrate Lucas.”
When Lucas went to Romania last year to compete on Team Canada, he didn’t go confident, Lynn said.
“We didn’t support him enough when he won. We were too busy saying ‘Oh dear, poor Andre.’”
But the Boudreau family prepared to celebrate success and learn from mistakes during the upcoming races in Fredericton on Jan.21-22 and for the remainder of the season, Lucas said.
Right now Lucas sits in first place in the standings while Andre is close behind in second.
“It’s a long season, and a lot can change.”