Genevieve Sasseville – Catch Her If You Can
Those are words that clearly describe Chatham’s Genevieve Sasseville.
The local swimmer has represented Canada, and collected an impressive trophy case of medals over the last twelve months. Those twelve months were different for the elite swimmer, who moved much of her training from the Chatham Y Pool Sharks, to the Ontario Swim Academy in Toronto.
“This year was different for me than past years because instead of training mainly in Chatham with the Chatham Pool Sharks I trained in Toronto for the majority of the season with the Ontario Swim Academy under Don Burton,” Sasseville explained of her success.
“Chatham has an amazing swim program and excellent coaches, but we aren’t big enough to have all the other resources that I find help with my success, such as sports nutritionists, bio mechanists, video analysts, sports medicine doctors, and sport psychologists. I’m very glad that when I do come home that my coaches are still here in Chatham and keep supporting me.”
From local support, to the backing of the Ontario Swim Academy in Toronto, to the National level with Team Canada, Sasseville’s rise has been meteoric, and the feeling of representing Canada this summer at the World Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary, was one she won’t soon forget.
“Representing my country is one of the best feelings, especially being able to represent Canada at a level this high,” Sasseville explained.
“Walking out on the deck having my named called and my country called, with tv cameras in my face, all while wearing the Team Canada gear, and then stepping up on the blocks with the maple leaf on my chest makes me feel so proud and grateful that I get to compete with people from all over the world while swimming for Canada.”
“Whenever I swim a great race I feel proud of what I’ve done, but when I get to represent Canada I feel proud that I can do my best and have the country proud as well. My favourite thing about representing Canada is knowing that I have the support of the country behind me.”
Sasseville took home a pair of bronze medals as part of relay teams with Canada at the World Juniors last month, and earned herself CKSN’s Athlete of the Month honour in the process.
For Sasseville, the accolades are wonderful, but she also simply loves the feeling of the race.
“I love swimming because I love the feeling of racing. I love the feeling after a great race when you realize that all the hard work you put in actually results in something amazing. I love swimming for the experiences it gives me such as this one and with those experiences I’ve met so many people and made tons of friends all over Canada I never would have without swimming. I also love this sport because it gives me something that gives me something to accomplish everyday, something that I always have to work for.”
That competition has taken Genevieve from Chatham-Kent, to Toronto, across Canada and the United States, and to Europe…this year.
“Travelling for swimming is so amazing,” she said. “I get to travel on a team with friends, along with new people that I became friends with. I’ve been to so many places this year – Budapest, California, Winnipeg, Quebec City, Vancouver, Florida, and Tennessee and they all have been great experiences but in different ways,” she continued, saying the World Juniors in Budapest were the highlight.
With much success behind her, which also included a silver and bronze medal at the Canadian Swimming Championships this summer, Sasseville also has a bright future ahead, including goals of performing on the World’s biggest stage.
“Next year is an Olympic year, so everyone who has a chance at making the team will be training harder and smarter leading up to trials in March,” Sasseville said.
“My goals for next year are to prepare the best I can for trails in March to give myself the best shot of making the Olympic team but more realistically I’m looking to qualify for whatever international junior team they will be selecting. For myself, 2020 Olympics isn’t out of the picture, but I really feel that 2024 will be my year.”