Bell Lets Talk

Hey Everyone!

Today is Bell Lets Talk day!! Everyone knows that there is a huge problem when it comes to the stigma surrounding Mental Health…. but why is it necessary?? It’s OK not to be OK. The world, and life itself, is so full of challenges. We should be creating a way for people to open up about those problems; they shouldn’t have to keep it bottled up inside them until an array of emotions explode!

Life is about, loving, giving, sharing and enjoying all of the things you go through. Whether you are struggling or succeeding, life is something to celebrate.

Make the people around you feel loved. Make them feel heard. You don’t even have to say a word, just listen.

Please help end the stigma and use your influence to help others do the same! Use the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, TURN OFF IMESSAGE, text text text, call, view THIS VIDEO with Howie Mandel and many more! There are so many ways to participate!

Time is running out so GO GO GO!!!!!

Click HERE to find out more!

C

Meet Gabe

Hey everyone!! Today we are going to introduce Gabe 🙂 My duet partner of 8 years and my teammate for 15 years!! 

Hi! My name is Gabriella Brisson, or just Gabe as many of you know me. I’m 22 years old and am in my 16th year of swimming. 11 of those years were spent with the Calgary Aquabelles before I moved to Montreal to be on this team! 

I am currently one of two team captains which so far has been a welcome challenge and an awesome experience! With this team I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world and represent Canada at some major International competitions including the 2015 FINA World Championships, the 2015 Pan Am Games, and most recently at the 2016 Olympic Qualifiers in Rio last spring! 

I was an honour roll student every semester at St. Mary’s High School CCSD and am now a straight A student at Concordia University. I’m not studying anything specific right now, but rather studying because I love to learn and I need to satisfy my curiosity! From earthquakes and volcanoes to music and film, I’m testing out what path I might want to follow after my synchro career. 

If you’re looking to fill up your social media feed with more synchro and silly things, follow me on Facebook: Gabe Brisson and Instagram: @gabebrisson

I really look forward to keeping in touch with you guys and I wish you the best synchro season!

Meet Gab

Up next we have Gabrielle Boisvert!

Hello,

My name is Gabrielle and I’m 22 years old. I first started synchro because I was afraid of water and swimming was not for me. I started my career in synchro at the SynchroÉlite club in Quebec City and stayed there for 14 years. While swimming, I was in Sport-Etude from Elementary school up to University. I am currently studying Kinesiology at UQAM. I have also coached athletes of all ages for 7 years.

This is my 2nd year at the center of excellence and I had the opportunity to go to the 2015 world championship in Russia.

Outside of the synchro, I like to knit, draw, spend nice evenings among friends and go for a walk in the wood to change my ideas.

If you ever want to follow me or contact me:

Facebook: Gabrielle Boisvert

Instagram: @gabboisvert

Thank you and look forward to seeing you in the future !!!! 🙂

Meet Janelle!

Hey Everyone!!
Over the next couple weeks, we will be presenting to you the members of the Senior National Team for the 2017 season!

We will start things off with Janelle Ball! Here’s what she has to say:

Hey everyone ! 🙂

So those who know anything about me know I’m terrible with social media (and email :p), but here I am creating my very own post to present myself! Pretty amazing haha

My name is Janelle, I am 24 years old, and I was born and raised in Montreal. I started my swimming career in the West Island Outdoor pool system as a 6 year old at Glenmore Pool, and quickly took up winter synchro at Dollard Synchro, where I swam from the age of 6 to 18. Growing up, I was able to train and compete at an elite level year round, while going to school thanks to the amazing Jrhs Sport-Etudes program.
This is my 6th season at the Centre of Excellence, and the I have had many amazing opportunities to travel and compete internationally representing Canada.
Most recently, I took part in the Olympic Qualifier in Rio de Janeiro. Thinking about the support we felt from our country leading up to that competition still gives me goosebumps.

A couple random things about me…

My favourite colour is pink, I am fluent in sarcasm, and I love tiny dogs (yes, the kind that many people consider to be rats).

You can follow my extremely inactive social media accounts here :

Twitter : @janelleball
Instagram: @balljanelle

Thanks for taking a couple minutes out of your day to get to know me a bit better 🙂

Look forward to seeing a bunch of you in the near future ! janelle

 
Stay tuned for more from the National Team as we introduce the girls and make our preparations for the year to come! It’s going to be a doozie!!!
C

And so it begins! 

Good morning! 

It’s a snowy, dark morning here in Montreal as I walk out of my apartment for the 1st time of 2017. I don’t think I’ve had to wake up this early for almost 9 months. The only reason I would ever decide to stand on the sidewalk, waiting for the bus to arrive on a day like today, is Synchro! It’s DAY 1 of 2017 and of the next Olympic Quad! 

As I look back on my Christmas Holiday, for the 1st time in 4 years, I feel truly satisfied. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve made myself a life here or if it’s just because I really had a thorough visit with my family and friends back home, but I feel good; excited even, to get back to training with this team again. 

I remember this day 4 years ago. There was maybe 5 of us who came from the same generation of athletes and we were so young!! Imagine moving out of your home (which all of us had to do) at 18, finding an apartment and being told on day 1 that you are training for the Olympics. It’s a surreal feeling to sit there at that age and know that your spot on the team is never guaranteed, but you have to train and compete like you are going to the Olympics with this group of girls. It’s like writing your story, but without knowing the ending! 

Now that I know the end of that last book, I feel different sensations on day 1. Excitement knowing that this is just the beginning, happiness knowing I’m about to see my synchro family in a few short minutes, confidence knowing that I now have the experience of all but one competition, and ready to completely accept everything that will happen this year! 

2016 was a hardddddddddd year for us to say the least and I think that 2017 owes us some good things. 

Here’s to a great year! 


C

2017 Calendar – On sale now!

Hey Everyone!!

Great News!! It’s December 1st which means that the 2017 Calendar is on sale right now!!

All proceeds will go to the Senior National as we prepare for the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest! You can get yours delivered to your door, or (if you are family and friends of a National Team Member) you can get your copy delivered by them!

Make sure that you are sending your Calendar to an address within Canada as we can not send them outside of Canada just yet!

We hope you enjoy this fun little project and have a fantastic new year!

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE

C

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2017 Calendar

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since I last posted, partly because of training and partly because of my classes at University. It has been a busy 2 months for me and I appreciate your patience!

Now for the fun stuff! My team and I have been working tirelessly in our “free time” to come up with a fundraising tool for the National Team…. SO we are doing a Calendar!

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It is a calendar featuring National Team with pictures taken by Jeremie Battaglia, fun facts, quotes and other exciting additions! We want this to feel as if you are experiencing training with us and that YOU are part of the team because, to be honest, the fans are the most important part in keeping this sport alive!

Our Calendar will be available for pre-order on December 1st!! More information on where to find the form etc, coming soon!!

Please share this info and help our team achieve our goal!!

C

Calgary Reunion! 

What a weekend!! Such an incredible honour to be part of the Aquabelle 50th anniversary!! 

Gabe and I have been Aquabelles since the very beginning and have been through it all together! From our 1st team, which was “the monster mash” (LOL how cute!), through to our 8 years as a duet and to now where we have achieved almost, but not quite all, of our goals in this sport. Looking back on the 15 years of synchro is filled with so many awesome memories and also so many amazing people we met along the way!

Our synchro careers have been shaped by a very important community here in Calgary, many of whom we had the privilege of seeing again this weekend. There are so many people we have to thank for helping us get to where we are today and for also giving us all of the opportunities we have been given. (Especially our parents: Michelle, Suzanne, Sigi & Max!)
Thank you to those who have supported us in the past and who will continue to support us in the future! Seeing all of your faces cheering as we performed our “Greatest Hits” duet was such a blast and it was so nice to be back together again as a pair! 


Shout out to Courtenay for re-creating our 1st duet suit and thank you to everyone who came out to the premiere of “Perfect” in Edmonton and Calgary!! We are so proud to share this project with you! 

Special thanks to Debbie for inviting us to perform and to anyone I may have missed!!

Tobermory Adventures

Tobermory, if you every have the chance to visit, is a small, charming and gorgeous place to spend your summer. The team was contacted recently with an incredible opportunity to swim in the Georgian Bay for the 150th Anniversary of Canada! SESQUI is an interactive media touring festival that will travel across the country in 2017. They have been filming all across Canada and will show the world a 360 degree view of our beautiful country! I have to say that the vision behind this project is incredible. Who would think to film Ballet in an airport, or synchro in a lake?? They did! We are so privileged to be a scene in this 20 minute film that will be shown in dome theatres everywhere.

At around 2:30pm on September 7th, after a plane to Toronto and a 4 hour bus, 8 of our girls at the Centre of Excellence took the 30
minute boat ride out of the Tobermory Harbour, to the edge of the Georgian Bay. There were 3 boats, one for the girls, which provided snacks, tea, and blankets, one for the crew and one rescue boat. The water was gorgeous and incredibly clear. We would be swimming about 200 metres from shore in front of what the crew called “the orb”, a bundle of cameras that would shoot a 360 degree view of the area, right over top of one of the many shipwrecks. As we arrive, we realize that the “lake” is not behaving the way you would think, more like an OCEAN if you ask me! We had huge waves with white caps coming off of them…. not ideal for SynchronizedSwimming…

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While we wait for the “OK” to jump into the water, we hear OUR music blaring from the shore line. It was epic. The entire team was in awe… OUR Fire & Ice music seemed to fit so well in this scenery; waves crashing, with the cool air and the sun setting in the background with the clear, erry water showing us all of it’s past triumphs. All we could muster was, “wooooooooow!!”

Even more comically, as the crew (in wetsuits) shares that the water is “not that cold” the team is in our competition outfits. Hair gelled, make up on and in our tiny sparkling suits, we jump into the Bay, with blood curdled screams! Rumours say the water was between 16 to 20 degrees. Though I would move that closer to the 16 degree mark…. there was some moments of panic, we quickly warmed up (as much as possible) and made our way to the ‘orb’ where we would do the rest of our filming.

After a quick rehearsal, and a small break, the orb was lowered into the water. Because the water was so cold and the waves were physically displacing our pattern at ever possible chance, our plan of swimming a 1.5 minute section was immediately a “no go”. We ended up having to do 10 seconds of our routine at a time. The below water shots were pretty easy to do because we could communicate above the water the whole time, minus one minor miscommunication where the orb was to shallow to swim above…. Imagine 8 girls using hand signals and screaming to the director (who is on shore) to drop the orb deeper into the water…. with very little success. Until a few minutes later he said over the microphone, “ohhhhh the orbs to shallow!” All of us start to laugh and scream “YESSSSSS!” Haha a little comic relief to get over the chill creeping over our bodies!

I have to say that the above water shoot, which just consisted in divers bringing the orb above the water on a pole that was anchored to the bottom of the bay, was extremely fun. This is the time where we really realized how beautiful this was going to be! The lake started to calm itself, the sun was in the perfect position and we (after many times training the sections) were finally getting comfortable in the water. The best part of the above shoot is that there can be no one around us….. So for about 5 minutes we would wait for the 3 boats to leave us out there…. all alone, above a shipwreck, with the crew literally hiding from the cameras. The music would start and we would do our small sections over and over again until it was time to call in the rescue boat! They would be the 1st on the scene to get us out of the water and check whether we got the shot. Of course there was some technical issues, so we would go in a few more times to get the perfect shot. Seriously, if you could have seen the view behind us as we swam, you would have fallen in love with this place too.img_0518

In total, we were out on the water for 4.5 hours and in the water for about 3 of them. We were chilly and exhausted after, but the experience of swimming in the bay that day will last forever.

For more information about SESQUI check out their Facebook Page or their Instagram which shows some of the incredible things they have done in their time of filming!

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Road To Tokyo

Hello World!

Today is officially DAY 1 of our Road To Tokyo!!! Watching Karine and Jackie make us proud in Rio was an incredible experience and we could not have hoped for a better performance from the two of them! We are so excited to hear about the entire journey from all of the experts who were in Rio with the girls.

Watching the Olympics was tough. It was hard because it is something you want to enjoy and watch with full commitment, like when you are young and ambitious about your future, but then the realization that we were basically there… just 0.7 away, sucks. It feels unfair and for a few moments you feel sad, but as soon you see your friends on TV kicking butt and winning medals, you start to realize that even the smallest thought of sadness is not worth it!

It’s the Olympics, there will be another chance! It’s all about coming together to watch our Canadian Athletes represent everything that you stand for and feel inspired by their stories, their struggles and their drive to achieve this ultimate goal. There were so many tears of joy during these games just knowing that I have met, spoken, and trained with most of these people. They have become my peers and I couldn’t be more excited of what they have achieved!

Our superstars have had the trip of their lives and in 4 years we will try to get that chance to live it as well. Each and every day is going to

Jackie at the Closing Ceremonies in Rio
Jackie at the Closing Ceremonies in Rio

be difficult and sometimes we will question everything that we have worked for, but in time it will be worth all the energy and the pain. This team has been through a lot, and with that there is a huge amount of fight in us. We will make this happen, we will be the Olympians we deserve to be.

Inside the Life of an Aspiring Olympian

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