Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Precious Medals

I've now held the torch and both a gold and silver Olympic medal.  I'm practically a world-class athlete myself.

These medals were for synchronized swimming from the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, won by the remarkable Sylvie Fréchette.  I had the pleasure of randomly meeting her in Montréal and found her fascinating and inspiring.  Over carbonara, I devoured her stories of Olympic victory and personal tragedy.  The day before she left for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, she found her fiancé who had committed suicide in their apartment.  Then, after giving an impeccable performance, she was not awarded the gold medal due to a blunder by the Brazilian judge who was not able to navigate the new electronic scoring system.  More than a year later, the error was amended and she was awarded the gold medal.

She is now a motivational speaker, founder and head coach at a Montréal swim club and a lovely dinner companion.

And the medals, they're quite heavy.

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