On day nine of the 40th Défi sportif AlterGo, the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex was not quite the same without the exuberant energy of the school athletes. But all is not over yet! On Saturday, the Défi sportif AlterGo was proud to present the Chantal Petitclerc Classic, now in its fourth year! The event featured several para-athletics competitions, including wheelchair races and throwing trials. Senator and former athlete Chantal Petitclerc was in attendance.
As spokesperson for the Défi sportif AlterGo for the past 25 years, Petitclerc has nothing but good things to say about it. Today, she used the word “wonderful” to describe it, but judging from her smile, many equally complimentary words were battling to be uttered.
“In amateur sport, forty years is no small feat. We always ask the athletes to give their best, to push themselves further. The Défi sportif AlterGo asks the same of itself, which explains the athletes’ love for and loyalty to the event. Moreover, the organizers never rest on their laurels. I know that when they begin planning the 41st Défi, they won’t settle for simply repeating what has been done in the past. They’ll ask themselves what they can do better, what they can do differently, and then they’ll go for it. They’ll aim higher. That’s the great thing about the Défi sportif AlterGo.”
The former athlete finds it very touching to have a sports event named after her. Touching, but also “a bit bewildering,” she said with a chuckle. While humble and down-to-earth, she understands the importance of the Chantal Petitclerc Classic for the athletes.
“When athletes perform well, it inspires others, creating a ripple effect. And then, at some point, many of them retire. It creates a sort of void. It’s great to attend the Classic when the sport is at a high point and there are a lot of athletes, but the Classic may be even more important when there are fewer. It’s an opportunity to get together and get motivated before competing internationally. It’s also a great opportunity to build relationships with the media.”
So although the Défi sportif AlterGo will soon conclude for the year, important events are still taking place, right up to the final minute!