“Being there at the Games fueled us for an entire year. The moment we set the first step there, we knew that the Games were our first training in preparation for the next season.”
Making its third trip to the Games in three years, Montreal’s Team L’Usine is back and ready to compete.
“Being there at the Games fueled us for an entire year,” says L’Usine captain Dominic Adam, reflecting on qualifying for the first time in 2011.“The moment we set the first step there, we knew that the Games were our first training in preparation for the next season.”
In 2012, L'Usine made it back to the Games, qualifying after finishing second at Regionals to their sister gym, L’Usine Gatineau.
“We had a mission this year — coming back on top of Canada East,” Adam says.
Adam admits he had already started planning his team’s 2013 training while standing atop the podium at the 2012 Regional, celebrating with his teammates.
With the 2013 qualification, the team made of Adam, Patrizio Delli Fraine, Dany Roy, Marie-Émilie Perreault, Mélaine Petit, Émilie Pfeiffer-Badoux, and alternates Nicholas Trudeau and Tara Schulz, has its sights set on placing in the top 20 at the Games.
L’Usine has a group of tight-knit veterans who bring substantial experience to the table. Petit, Pfeiffer-Badoux and Delli Fraine have been consistently competing in the Games seasons for the past five years. That experience, combined with the athletic prowess of relative rookies Perrault, who competed as an individual at Regionals last year, and Roy, has proven to be a successful formula so far.
“From last year's experience at the Games, we wanted to add some weight to the team, so Dany was a great addition,” Adam says. “Coming from a team sport background, soccer, and now coaching full time with us, (Marie) wanted to reconnect with the team spirit. She's strong in every aspect, really complementing the team in any situation.”
With team members on completely different schedules (Pfeiffer-Badoux is a police officer, Delli Fraine is a doctor and Perreault is a social worker), Adam says it’s “one hell of a challenge to coordinate training time.”
He adds: “We train together as much as possible, and sometimes it means just staying a bit longer and encouraging someone doing the same WOD a bit later. We have a system where we see each other’s scores, training and ideas for future challenges.”
Each athlete also focuses on specific weaknesses in addition to the core training. As the Games approach, L’Usine hasn’t made any dramatic changes.
“We pretty much keep the same rhythm all year round — there’s no magic potion.”
Team members are trying to make sure their strengths stay strong and their weaknesses get better, while adding the occasional skill work that might come up at the Games.
“We’re practicing some circus acts, like triple-unders,” he says.
They’re also practicing being on time. In a running joke, last year Adam missed his flight and understandably took a lot of slack after driving to the wrong airport and having to pay for an extra ticket to make it to Carson, Calif. Focused on getting to the right airport and arriving in California on schedule, the team is excited for the Games to begin.
“The fact that we're rubbing elbows with the very best in the world is a big kick,” Adam says. “We love to compete and this is the biggest competition of them all.”