Because being involved with a sport can be both exciting and dreadful, because the path to glory is not always the straight path to the finish line that one expects when starting, we have asked our ambassadors to reminisce over their journey between the euphoria, discipline, and successes. What is it that keeps them motivated no matter what? Here are their stories and their secrets!
“When I play sports, I feel light and I focus purely on the enjoyment of it. What I like the most in the practice of playing sports regularly is the sense of self-improvement that I feel after every training session and every competition.” Olivier is a champion in cross-country skiing and when on the snow, he glides so quickly that he nearly flies.
“I am a very competitive individual that likes improving, and I love the feeling of satisfaction I get after having given 100 percent,” explains Olivier, who draws from every victory the urge to continually do better.
Wellness in body, wellness in mind – running like a motor
Olivier Léveillé is an outdoorsman, and you can count on him to be practicing some kind of sport. From skiing in winter, to road biking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, running, and hiking, he is a true ball of energy!
Cause and effect? Possibly! “When I started doing sports, I noticed that I have an easier time focusing on smaller details. Also, I got sick much less often and my general level of energy was higher,” Olivier told us. Practicing sports had also given him another bonus that allowed him to work hard in order to go further – on the course or in life. “What has struck me the most, was seeing just how much my perseverance has developed because of my physical activity.”
Still, even if healthy, you can’t keep fitness without working out. Exercising, dedicating oneself to his practice, and steady repetition is the only way to continue winning titles, especially in an endurance sport like the one Olivier practices.
Honesty with oneself, a pledge of ethics to others
“The improvement that I have most noticed [since I began competing at a higher level], is that of my work ethic. I have experimented and learned over the course of some years that quality is much more important than quantity. Applying oneself at 100 percent, even if it takes more time, always leads to the best results - in sports as well as in life,” states Olivier.
Easily mistaken for being older, the athlete is actually still quite young. However, there is no miracle remedy, no magic recipe – you reap what you sow. His favorite saying is “Going the extra mile,” a motto that never leaves Olivier when he launches himself onto the snowy course.
His goals? The Winter Games of Canada 2019, the Junior World Championships in Finland, and the Olympic Games, beginning with defending his Canadian Champion title in his age class, which he has held for the past three years.
Inspired by his trainer, Gilles Lefebvre, and the attention garnered by his elder, Alex Harvey, the Canadian founder who obtained the most medals outside of the Olympic Games– with at least 20 of them being at the World Cup – and who has participated in the last three games, Olivier is sharpening his skis at a quality school.
Feet on the ground, heart in the right place
Olivier acknowledges that his parents are also a good source of inspiration for him. This winner of the Male Athlete of the Year 2018 award at the Sport Québec Gala confides in us that one of his best competition memories was when he managed to obtain his first victory in the Canadian Championships in front of his parents and his friends.
Even if his career unfolded unhindered, and he “surpasses [his] records year after year”, in the more difficult moments, or when his motivation is not quite there, Olivier has his solution: “I remind myself where I come from, why I started skiing, and everything I love about this sport”. He steps back, takes a few seconds, and then concludes: “As my trainer always tells me, sometimes it is better to take one step back so that you can then take two steps forward.” And you will find him there, at the finish line!