The Tokyo Games bronze medalist is more motivated than ever

Tokyo Games bronze medalist more motivated than ever


Uncertain if she was going to continue her career until the Paris Games, Olympic medalist Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard is now more motivated than ever to experience her third Olympics in 2024 in the City of Light.   

A decisive element swung the thinking of the judoka, bronze medalist at the Tokyo Games in the under 63 kg category, who will leave Wednesday in Doha in anticipation of the world championship.

“I wanted to continue a year after the Tokyo Games, but my silver medal at the world championship last year motivated me to continue to Paris, she explained. This silver medal showed that I am capable of competing with the best in the world.

“By virtue of my second place in the world, I am already in a good position in the selection process for the 2024 Games, continued Beauchemin-Pinard. Even if it wasn't always easy, especially with the weight cut, I would have had more regrets if I had stopped after the worlds last year instead of pushing for another two years.”

The break after Tokyo was beneficial. “Because the selection process had taken another year due to the Games being postponed for a year, I was looking forward to Tokyo being behind me,” she said. I needed a little rest. I wanted to do something else in life than just focus on judo. In particular, I rode a road bike and it did me good.”

Beauchemin-Pinard continues to live with the constraints of losing weight before major competitions, but it is much less difficult than in the past. “It's dog to do, she imagined, but it's less difficult than before. I'm looking forward to retirement when I don't have to constantly check my weight.”

Very high expectations

A medal strong gold at the Grand Slam in Tel-Aviv at the start of the season and a bronze medal in Turkey without forgetting her title of vice-world champion, the protege of Antoine Valois-Fortier is aiming for nothing less than the first place of the podium in Doha.

“It would be a lie to pretend that I am aiming for the podium, she underlined. I'm aiming for the gold medal. I was really close last year. I'm going to take it one fight at a time, but I want to win them all.”

A smooth transition

In order to ensure that we have a smooth transition after Tokyo, Beauchemin-Pinard continued to train with Sasha Mehmedovic while beginning the collaboration with Valois-Fortier who was propelled to the head of the Canadian team at the time of his retirement.

< p>“We opted for a hybrid solution. Sasha had been coaching me for six years. We experienced the Rio Games, my change of category and my medal in Tokyo. One thing leading to another, it became easier to continue only with Antoine because he was the one who accompanied us during international events. The transition went well and Antoine's presence allowed me to improve certain aspects of my judo which were beneficial.”

Valois-Fortier likes what he sees from Beauchemin- Pinard. “Mentally, Catherine finds herself in a superb place,” said the head coach of the Canadian team. She enjoys training and she is motivated to do even better at the next Games. Over the years, she got to know herself as much in judo as outside.”

“Last year, her results improved the closer she got to the world championship and that is the same scenario this year, chasing the bronze medalist from the London 2012 Games. When stress translates into excitement, not anxiety, she performs very well.”