If the mission of the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie is to encourage people to get active and adopt a healthy lifestyle, the event is also an opportunity for participants to meet great people and share precious moments.
Pierre Lavoie mentions that he had a great day on Saturday, notably spending a few hours cycling with speed skaters Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann.
“These are extraordinary girls, good people with great personalities,” Lavoie said shortly after the conclusion of the event, dubbed “La Boucle,” which started and ended in Sorel-Tracy.
“Isabelle was the first thing I thought of when Pierre asked me to invite a teammate. I knew she was coming on board, remarked Valérie Maltais of Isabelle Weidemann, winner of three medals at the last Beijing Olympics and flag bearer for Canada at the closing ceremony. For Isabelle and I, it is part of us to want to share our passion for sport and the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie offers values that we want to instill.”
The Quebecois, herself a gold medalist in the team pursuit at the Beijing Games, also enjoyed her day on Saturday alongside Isabelle Weidemann and Ivanie Blondin. Since she already knew Isabelle Weidemann and Pierre Lavoie, she admits that she reserved her “coup de coeur” of the day for the State Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Christian Dubé, who swallowed the kilometers with them.
“That’s what I like about the Grand Défi: you take off your watch and we drive for miles together,” summarized Valérie Maltais.
Arrival at the Olympic Stadium
After successfully completing the first three days of the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie, the climax will now come on Sunday with the conclusion of the 1000 km run in the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
“There will be this feeling of achievement, something is happening in the stadium,” predicted Pierre Lavoie, recalling that the departure took place in Saguenay on Thursday. When you arrive, you realize you’re doing something extraordinary.”
Even if the 12the As the 1000KM event draws to a close, Pierre Lavoie is still experiencing the big arrival with emotion.
“People forget, that’s a good thing,” he philosophized. There are always new cyclists who experience something intense, but in the last few days I felt like we were reborn. We experienced extremely strong emotions just on Saturday in Sorel-Tracy and that makes a big difference for the sustainability of the event.
And that may be even more true after a forced two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must be happy and proud of this movement in Quebec,” endorsed Valérie Maltais, who will join the famous arrival at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday after a scheduled attendance at Gala Sports Québec on Saturday night.
In addition to the 1000 km of cycling from Saguenay to Montreal, the entire population was invited to take part in the 1 million kilometer challenge at the same time. The million mark had already been exceeded early on Saturday evening. Despite everything, it is still possible to visit the 1000000ensemble.com website to record kilometers covered “by pedaling, running, swimming, walking, rowing”.