- Friday, 10 July 2015 16:51
It won’t happen again in my career to have the opportunity to compete in my country, on our home water. It could have happened in France this year with world championships held in Aiguebelette, if I were still racing with the French colors. It is something special and I am proud and happy to be part of Team Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto !
To be honest, before moving to Canada, I knew very little about the Pan American Games. From a European point of view, this is a continental, minor event. But I discovered a totally different world. The PanAm Games are a huge event. For some sports, they are Olympic qualifiers for 2016. Not less than 6,135 athletes from 40 nations are expected to participate in 36 sports. Mini Olympic Games a year before the big ones. Accreditation, village, shuttle, kit, venue, media, opening ceremony, there is an Olympic Games atmosphere everywhere.
On Friday July 10th, we will have the honour to march at the opening ceremony that will take place at the Rogers Centre next to the CN Tower downtown Toronto. The opening ceremony will be produced and directed by Cirque du Soleil. It is going to be a great show and I am excited to be part of it.
Rowing wise, 14 nations will compete during those Games on the Saint Catharines course. As a matter of fact, rowing is more of a European and Anglo-Saxon sport. Without underestimating our competitors, we can clearly say that the field won’t be as deep as it can be at a world cup for example. I will race the quadruple scull (our boat that we will race at Olympic qualifiers in September) and the Eight. Respectively 6 and 5 entries. USA, Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba will be our opposition in the quadruple scull whereas in the Eight we will have the USA, Argentina, Brazil and Cuba.
So it will be races for lane in both events for me starting on Sunday morning. It means that we will just race to have a centre lane for the final. Some boats might not race it at a 100%. We will to make sure that we are in the middle lane and also, in case of bad weather, this race could be the only one... so better win it !
Final of the Men’s Quad on July 14th and final of the Men’s Eight on July 15th.
The full program here
“The adventure goes on...”