Sprint canoe-kayak | Laurence Vincent Lapointe retires

Smiling and relaxed, the 29-year-old ex-canoeist was obviously serene. His entry into the physiotherapy program at the beginning of the year only confirmed a “well-considered” decision. ” I love that ! “, launched the student.

Updated yesterday at 7:25 p.m.

Simon Drouin

Simon Drouin
The Press

The presentation of the World Championships in Canada, in Halifax, from August 3 to 7, was not enough to convince Laurence Vincent Lapointe to stretch his career one more year. No more than the exceptional proximity of the Paris Olympics, considering the one-year postponement of those in Tokyo.

“I don’t get bored of training,” she said. I don’t miss the performance, going on the water and giving it my all to the point where I sometimes want to vomit. »

Her conquest of two medals in the Tokyo Olympic pool last summer filled her. She won silver in the C1 200m and bronze in the C2 500m with Ontario partner Katie Vincent.

I accomplished what I had to accomplish. Afterwards, there was a kind of emotional and mental fatigue. I gave myself time to think about it [à mon avenir] with a clear head.

Laurence Vincent Lapointe

She does not hide it: her positive test for ligandrol, in the summer of 2019, from which she was subsequently exonerated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, is “one of the big reasons” which convinces her of the correctness of his decision. The very public saga that followed was a real ordeal for the athlete, his parents and those close to him.

Until then, she toyed with the idea of ​​going to Paris in 2024. “The two years before the Games, it hurt me a lot, a lot emotionally and mentally. I needed a lot of help from people around me. They were great, but now I’m tired of what happened and I’m ready to move on. »

A pioneer

To this day, Vincent Lapointe retains the aftermath of this trauma. For example, she never allowed herself to meet a new partner. Her former spouse had contaminated her without her knowledge, she had managed to demonstrate to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in particular thanks to scientific expertise on her hair.

“I had not allowed myself the slightest meeting. This paranoia is not healthy. [La retraite sportive] will allow me to stop always looking behind my shoulder, to always be afraid that something will happen to me, be it physical, mental or another contamination. I thought about it for a long time and it will be good to no longer have this constant stress. »

Despite this painful episode, she would not hesitate to start again.

I have no regrets and I’m happy with what I achieved. But I’ve moved on to something else now.

Laurence Vincent Lapointe

The athlete from Trois-Rivières was a pioneer in a discipline that has long been the preserve of men. Before her two Olympic podiums, the only representative of Quebec to have achieved it in Tokyo, she won no less than 12 world titles, in addition to a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games.

“I feel a little sad to leave a world that has given me beautiful things. I also have a little twinge in my heart to know that I will no longer have the chance to live all these adventures with my teammates and teammates and my whole team. And I will no longer go on the water to feel what I am capable of doing. »

As in her appeal process, Canoe Kayak Canada supported her as she considered her future. The federation even invited her to try an individual qualification for this season, guaranteeing her a place in the collective boats. On reflection, she felt it was unfair to show up in sub-optimal shape and potentially take the position of better-trained teammates.

Vincent Lapointe submitted his name to volunteer at the Worlds in Halifax. In the longer term, she cherishes the “dream” of accompanying an Olympic team as a physiotherapist.

“I had so much support for my Olympic Games that I would love to be able to offer that support to other athletes one day. She would have a lot to tell.

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