About the author
Valerie began her journey on ice as a figure skater, but quickly her parents noticed her interest for speed. At the age of 6, she tried short-track speed skating at her hometown club; they knew that she had found a new passion. Her parents and coaches tough her the fundamental values that she still applies daily: teamwork, respect, humility and perseverance.
Today, Valerie has been on ice for over 25 years, including 14 years on the national team. She is a 3-time Olympian and Olympic silver medalist in Sochi 2014. Spring 2018, she transitioned from short-track speed skating to long-track speed skating. Without even have tried a « clap skate » before, she went from skating on a 111m track to a 400m track; from racing directly against other athletes to racing a time trial. It was a challenging but a successful transition, as she was able to qualify for her First World Cups and World Championships after only 6 months in the sport. At the World Championships in 2021, Valerie was able to perform in the world top.
So far, she has found most of her success in the Team Pursuit event. With her teammates, they revived a speed skating tradition. They broke an 8-year-old Canadian record, won the World Cup title in seasons 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, in addition to medalling at World Championships, again, over both seasons. Valerie’s ultimate goal: to be on the podium Beijing 2022.
She values honesty and positive attitude. She is motivated by health and accomplishment. Even though she is practicing an individual sport, teamwork is essential to her success. In 2014-2015, she did a series of speaking appearances: “Regarder vers l’avant” (looking forward). She is involved in a variety of causes that include The Quebec breast Cancer Foundation, Fitspirit and Fast&Female. Throughout her career, she has fulfilled the role as ambassador and as spoke-person for a variety of companies, as well as leading speed skating summer camps in the province of Quebec and Ontario.
She loves nutrition and cooking, camping, travelling and discovering new places. She recently extended her field of interest for communication, public relations and marketing, which led her back to school at the Téluq University. Her training program is focused on mid to long distance, which is 1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m, team pursuit and mass start (16 laps). In addition to her regular ice sessions, her training program includes a lot of biking, running, weight sessions, off ice training, yoga and hiking.
Photo credit: Dave Holland