Golden girls of Canada

This team knows what its like to stand on the podium! The golden girls of WRC 2009, with many other medals,  are coming to New Zealand to represent Canada in the Open women’s category.

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World Champions – 2009

That honour goes to: Véronique Delisle, Karine Marchand, Natacha Lavoie (capitain R4 / R6), Maritza Chiasson, Annie Bergevin, Joannie Verret, Marie-Anne Boulanger and trainer Jean-Phillipe Turcotte. Participating in New Zealand will also fulfill their dream of visiting that beautiful country.

On average they have more than ten years of experience in rafting. These girls like to challenge themselves with ice canoeing, climbing, hiking, kayaking, water-polo, Ultimate Frisbee,  skiing, swimming, triathlons, running, ….

canada w2Veronique Delisle – how is your team preparing for this competition, what type of training are you doing and on which rivers are you preparing? 

“We are training on the Jacques Cartier River and the St-Charles River four times a week. We are going to the gym twice minimum a week and we are doing some cardio in our own time. We had the R4 season early this year (April to June) and then the R6 season began. Winter and cold temperatures made a full year of training hard but we maintained good physical condition with our other activities.” – Yes, the winter that is starting now in the north makes it difficult for teams to train. But soon you can leave the cold behind as you travel in to the summer. So, will you be able to stay after the competition? – We will stay for two weeks or so after the competition because we want to enjoy the party and visit a little…” – Excellent decision. And with all the teams that will be remaining after the competition, fun and parties will certainly happen.

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2nd overall – WRC 2007

In Costa Rica WRC 2011 you won the silver medal in the H2H, got 2nd overall in South Korea 2007, 1st at WRC 2009 in Bosnia. So, Veronique, could you say that you are best at, or like one particular discipline?

“We had a big improvement on the downriver at the Canadians nationals, we work really hard on slalom and we should still be strong at the head to head discipline.”

Do you have any expectations as far as results …. and what are your expectations generally?

“Our goal is simple, we want to win the world champion title again.”

Straight to the point, without equivocation. I like that. :)

Have you explored who the other teams are that are coming to compete and what the competition will be like? You have already had the opportunity to compete in previous competitions against many of the teams that are coming to NZ. 

canada w5“Compared to teams in Europe, we do not have the privilege of competing often. We have our nationals and the WRC once a year. Every time we show up at the Worlds, we haven’t seen (except on Youtube!) the other teams paddling since last WRC. However, there is a lot of experience in the boat with the girls that will be paddling for a sixth time at a WRC.”

Many women’s teams, in particular, pay special attention to the clothing during the opening ceremony. :) Can you reveal what your style will be for the ceremony?

We will wear Olympic clothing from our oldest, national company: La Baie d’Hudson (The Hudson Bay).”

And sponsors – who do you want to thank?

ATLAN is our principal provider of clothes for rafting (wetsuit, drysuit, top, leggings and shorts), NRS for the raft.”

canada w1I had the opportunity to meet these girls while competing in some WRC competition against them. And the most beautiful memory that will stay with me is the moment when we met in our rafts on the Tara River 2009 (on the downriver training). They sent us a wonderful smile, welcoming us… their smile has left with me a beautiful impression about the people of Canada. Don’t forget that all participants and representatives of their countries in such competitions are primarily ambassadors for their countries – this team does it in a great way.

So, to these smiling ambassadors of Canada, we wish you good strokes and a great time in New Zealand.

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Article by Nada