The 40th Défi sportif AlterGo Marks History
Ten days, nine disciplines, and four competition sites. The 40th Défi sportif AlterGo will leave its mark on the 6,000 athletes who participated in the event, regardless of their disabilities. Whether they competed at the school, developmental, or elite levels, they all demonstrated what they were capable of.
In a festive atmosphere where both competition and friendliness reigned, human archways enlivened the opening ceremonies at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex, while at the Maurice-Richard Arena, the Howie-Morenz arena, Jarry Park, and Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, a large number of different sports events were held.
“The 40th Défi sportif AlterGo could not have ended on a better note. Seeing 6,000 athletes at our competition sites once again demonstrated how important this event is to them. We’ll be seeing these athletes again, whether at the regional, provincial, or even international levels,” said Maxime Gagnon, CEO of AlterGo. “In sport, there are no limitations. There are only possibilities. And we’ve been proving that for forty years,” he added.
In 1984, Monique Lefebvre, then director of AlterGo, sought to improve the image of people with disabilities. Thanks to the ambitious, industrious, and astute woman, the Défi sportif AlterGo was born.
“What impresses me the most about the Défi sportif is how everyone goes above and beyond. The athletes, who go above and beyond to perform ever better. The AlterGo team, which goes above and beyond to ensure the event runs smoothly. And the volunteers, who go above and beyond through their constant presence. In the same vein, we’ll definitely be going above and beyond next year,” said Yan Martin, director of the Défi sportif AlterGo.
The 40th Défi sportif AlterGo will undoubtedly be long remembered by those who took part. For the first time in Défi sportif AlterGo history, Jarry Park was the site of the school component’s mini-marathon. More than 1,000 young students crossed the finish line. Schools from almost every part of Quebec gathered at the Défi sportif AlterGo this year.
Elsa Schmitt, AlterGo’s coordinator of school sports and development, had a front-row seat for the return of the school component after three years in virtual or hybrid mode.
“What I’ll remember most about the 40th Défi sportif AlterGo are the gestures of affection and the enthusiasm of the young athletes as they cheered each other on. For me, their joy and their smiles are the greatest reward. To me, they’re all champions. And behind each competitor, there’s a teacher, a caregiver, a parent. I thank them for their commitment and for allowing these young people to experience the thrill of competition.”
Return in force of the international component
At the Maurice-Richard Arena, international athletes gathered for the Montréal 2023 World Boccia Cup. A total of 26 teams competed in the discipline, which requires patience and precision.
Montréal’s Iulian Ciobanu had a perfect week in the BC4 division, winning gold in both the individual event and the doubles contest with his teammate Alison Levine. It was a first for the 40-year-old, who had never set foot on a World Cup podium before.
El Salvador also won a medal for the first time, when Rebeca Duarte Linares took gold in the women’s BC2 event.
A learning experience for the Canadian para hockey team
At the Howie-Morenz Arena, the national para hockey developmental team faced the Americans for the third time. After losing twice, the Canadians fought hard in their final game, but were unable to turn the tables. They lost their final game 2-0 on Sunday.
Looking forward to the 41st edition
The 40th Défi sportif AlterGo has come to a close, but the memories will remain. “The Défi sportif AlterGo will continue to grow, and we’re looking forward to another 40 years!” concluded Gagnon.
The 41st Défi sportif AlterGo will take place from April 26 to May 5, 2024.