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Exclusive interview with Valerie Lefebvre

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valerie_can_g_aruna_ind_s_fegue_cam_b.jpgValerie Lefebvre hails from Quebec, Canada and won Gold in the 58-63kg Weightlifting event at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in Oct, 2008. She spent some time with team in Pune after her medal winning performance to throw some light on what got her into the sport, her preparation and other fun stuff that you'd expect from a teenager!

What she likes about her chosen sport is that you compete with yourself and push your own limits to improve. But weightlifting wasn't really her interest from day 1. Her younger sister Audrey was very keen on the sport and used to go with their father Luc to watch him train as he prepared for different sen ior championships. Due to the absence of a babysitter, Valerie was forced to tag along and got pushed into the sport by her little sister who kept trying to lift small weights herself.

Finding herself at the Gym almost every afternoon young Valerie decided to give it a go and eight years of 4-5 days a weeks training later, she finds herself champion of the Junior Commonwealth! Her dream however is to one day compete in the Olympics, something that has inspired her since she first saw the 2000 Sydney Games on television. In fact, her real life sporting hero Christine Girard too hails from Quebec and won bronze & silver for Canada in her last two Commonwealth Games appearances (2002 & 2006).

Valerie's preparation for the CYG was no different from her usual preparation. Interestingly her father Luc, is also the team coach and spends extra time on the mental and psychological side of her preparation working on breathing well and psyching her up at just the right times. Diet too forms an integral part of this athlete's preparation, eating a healthy mix of vegetables and meat. She did however need to lose a couple of kilos to fit into her weight class. Cycling and stretching are other integral elements of her weekly exercise routine.

Coming to India and adjusting to a new venue, climate and food didn't affect her preparation much, in fact the large and often boisterous crowd at the venue and the weight of expectations didn't really pressurize her much. "I looked at the competitors list and said, hey there is a great chance I can come away with something here", said Valerie.

After the games Valerie will be preparing for the Canadian Junior Championships scheduled in Jan, an event she feels would actually be a lot more competitive than these games!

Fun Stuff

Well, getting some of the serious stuff out of the way, TSC quizzed Valerie about a few of her favourite things (and people)...

TSC: Someone you wish you could have brought along for the trip

Valerie: My best friends - Valerie Dumas, Vanessa Daoust, Caroline Menard

Valerie_Lefebvre_Can_Weightlifting_.jpgTSC: A place in India you'd like to visit

Valerie: Taj Mahal, Ganges

TSC: Favourite Movies

Valerie: Walk the line, Crazy

TSC: Favourite Book

Valerie: Of Mice & Men

TSC: Favourite subject

Valerie: Geography

TSC: Favourite Dish

Valerie: Christmas Meat Pie

TSC: If you were not a Weightlifter you would be...

Valerie: A figure skater!