Genevieve Sasseville Has Sights Set On Olympics, Eventually
Sasseville has been living and training at the Ontario Swimming Academy, a hotbed for elite swimmers from across the Province.
“This year has been a good training year, but it has been a bit different than normal,” Sasseville explained. “I spent a lot of my early season on recruiting trips for universities so that had me travelling a lot, and it took me out of the pool here and there. The rest of the season has been mostly training other than a few meets here in Canada.”
Those recruitment trips were rewarding for Sasseville, who committed to swim at the NCAA Division I level with the University of Southern California.
Sasseville also travelled to Japan with Team Ontario, and had another training trip to Florida this year, but has mostly called Toronto her home base with the Ontario Swimming Academy.
For the young talent, who has represented Canada at the World Junior Championships, and has her sights set on someday competing at the Olympic Games for Canada, hearing the Olympic Trials were cancelled, and Games themselves postponed was quite the news.
“When I first heard that Olympic Trials were postponed I was quite upset,” said Sasseville. “Not having Olympic Trials is hard because we trained all season to be at our prime and at our fastest for Olympic Trials. When we heard that they were not happening, we were at the peak of our training and were about a week out from taper, meaning that everyone was getting excited to race and make teams. Not having Olympic Trials is hard on the entire swimming community especially those who had very good chances at making the team. What we’re left with now is a bunch of swimmers, including myself, that have put in all this work and time to achieve a certain goal, that is now very uncertain and we all wonder where to put our energy now.”
That does not mean however, that her goals have changed of representing Canada at the Olympic level.
“My end goal is to make the Olympics, as much as I was going to give it a good go this year, I was aware that the 2020 Olympics might not be my year, more so 2024. Saying that, I was sad for all the athletes that are already qualified in other sports, and I was sad for all the athletes who were in positions to make the team. I have friends that had really good chances of going to Tokyo 2020. Despite feeling sad for all the athletes, I respect the decision made; I think that it is a smart decision at this point considering the world situation. I think that having this decision made helps athletes all over to know more of an outcome seeing as we were all unsure how not being able to train at full capacity would affect future competitions, and qualifiers.”
The problem right now for all athletes, is a restriction of facilities.
“The easiest part of all of this for me is keeping in shape. The hard part is keeping in shape in the same way as normal, which is swimming practices, seeing as all pools are shut down. I’ve been really busy running, biking, doing multiple drylands circuits a day, and doing weights at home, all of which are great ways to stay in shape they’re just different than what I am used to doing as my sole exercise on a daily basis.”
As with anyone who is isolated, and practicing physical distancing, maintaining mental focus is another issue, which Sasseville herself has found a challenge.
“I think that the hardest part of this whole situation for myself, is to maintain focus,” Sasseville said. “I think this is the case for all athletes out there at this time. With the rest of the season being so undetermined, it is hard to know what goal you are working for when you wake up everyday. For myself I am continuing to maintain my fitness level so that whenever a definite goal does arrive, and this is all resolved, I’ll be ready to get back to what I love doing-which is training hard.”
With her focus and talent,