Myriam Da Silva
Photo credits: Canadian Olympic Committee / Photo courtesy of Myriam Da Silva / David Jackson / La Presse / Vincent Ethier
Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020
Hometown: Chambly, Quebec
Q. Was there a specific time in your life when you thought your dream of going to the Olympics could come true?
A. “No, but at a certain point yes. [Laughter] Before I started boxing, I played soccer. However, certain events did occur which made my hopes to join the team fade away. When I started boxing in 2007, women still did not have access to compete in the Olympics. When the women’s events were added to the program in 2012, I started to believe and have hope again even though my weight class wasn’t there yet. I told myself that we could do it if we continued to demonstrate on the international platform that we had our place too. So it’s not a specific moment of realization, but more the emergence of possibilities.”
Q. How would you describe this past year?
A. “Although the pandemic has been hard on everyone, it has also allowed us to refocus and use our capacities for peer support and imagination. It was a year of teamwork, determination and surpassing yourself, just like a standard Olympic year, but a bit different. Our preparation continued normally throughout the year since our official confirmations were only announced last month.”
Q. What motivates you to train everyday?
A. “It might be a bit strange to say, but for me, it’s just normal. I love my sport and as long as I’m passionnate about what I do, I won’t feel like I’m “working” hard, but rather giving my best every day to ensure my place among the best boxers.”
Q. How do you feel about your first experience at the Olympic Games?
A. “I tell myself to go with the flow. I focus on the things I have to do and I really enjoy every moment, every day and every workout. I live in the moment even though for many athletes this moment is considered out of the ordinary. To me, it isn’t. It is what it is and I like it that way.”
Q. How do you manage your pre-competitive stress before a boxing match?
A. “I accept it and welcome it as calmly as possible. It’s a part of me and a part of the situation, there’s no point in trying to get it to go away. In fact, I try to get it to participate positively. I sometimes speak of stress as if it was a human being. [Laughter] I admit that I often see stress as an upside-down movie character.”
Q. Tell us about a defining moment in your career when you learned something important that now has a significant impact in today’s life?
A. “There is not necessarily a specific time or specific tips. For me, every day is an opportunity to learn and to share the learnings with my team. I observe a lot, so I learn a lot from my observations which I then analyze, and finally put them into practice.”
Q. What excites you the most about your sport?
A. “I love boxing because it is an intense sport both physically and mentally. I like combinations where I end with a power punch (hook or overhand). Why? It may sound a little intense, but it’s the feeling of the impact and the strenght that I am able to deploy.”
Q. What do you like to eat before or after a competition and why?
A. “I really like food in general, so I don’t have any particular cravings. My eating plan is important to me, before a competition, but also after it. It’s not about restricting myself, it’s just about having a structure. I have a soft spot for Portuguese chicken before or after a competition, it’s the portion that changes. [Laughter] ”