Photo credits : Canadian Paralympic Committee / Réseau des sports ( RDS) / La Nouvelle union – Victoriaville
Sport: Para athletics
Paralympic Games: Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
Hometown: Victoriaville, Quebec
Q. Tell us about a memorable moment from your Rio 2016 Paralympic Games?
A. “When I set foot on the Rio stadium track for the presentation of the athletes before my 1500m race. There were around 30,000 people in the stadium, it was amazing! It was then that I realized my dream of taking part in the Paralympic Games.”
Q. Do you have a funny story to tell us about these Games?
A. “The Olympic village was very far from the center of the city of Rio and my family were staying very close to the beach in the Copacabana neighborhood. To be able to see them, I had to take an Uber for a minimum of an hour. I have never spent so much money on transport in a week!” [Laugher]
Q. How would you describe this year and your confirmation on the Paralympic team for Tokyo 2020?
A. “In one word, I would say flexibility. It was so difficult to plan a competition or training camp schedule. The situation was changing so quickly. Access to normal preparation was set aside. With everything shutting down, you had to be proactive, resilient, and tackle situation one day at a time. As for my olympic confirmation, it is always confirmed very late in the case of para-athletics. Since my participation was almost already confirmed in June, I was already in training camp in Flagstaff for the Games when my selection was confirmed.”
Q. What does your second participation in the Paralympic Games represent to you?
A. “The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games were a first experience for me and I was still in learning mode both in terms of the scale of the event and the peculiarity of this competition compared to the others. Today, I know better what to expect. My participation this year represents the culmination of five years of work.”
Q. What motivates you to train everyday?
A. “I really like going for a run every day. My city of Victoriaville is full of great places to go for a run. So it’s easy for me since I am fortunate to have a favorable environment to train. But when I need a little help, it’s my goal and my dreams that give me that little extra motivation I need. What motivates me the most is to be the best athlete I can be and go as far as possible.”
Q. Is there a concept in training that is essential for you?
A. “Continuously questioning myself. Take the time to analyze and question what has been set up for my preparation, both in terms of the choice of training camps, competitions, etc. The goal of this exercise is to improve and find ways to do more and above all better. It is a concept that I put in application in my life.”
Q. Do you have a ritual before a competition?
A. “Yes always! Before I leave home or the hotel, I take a shower, a drink a good coffee and eat a classic breakfast of oatmeal and peanut butter bagel.”
What do you particularly like about your sport?
A. “I love the simplicity and purity of running. An athletics track is 400m long anywhere in the world. It’s equal and fair to everyone. It is also very accessible. My favorite event is the 5000m. It’s the perfect distance! It takes a mixture of endurance and speed to do well in this event.”