August 19, 2013
Living the Dream: Simon Paquette
By Guillaume Blais

“Having lived my first Games experience will help me immensely. I’m very excited to be back training for the 2014 Games.”

A chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa is the dream of many first-time Games athletes.

Quebec’s Simon Paquette earned that right after two top-four finishes in Row 1 and the Burden Run at this year’s Games. For Friday’s event, Legless, the 24-year-old took the floor with the leaders.

For Paquette this was, without a doubt, his Games moment.

“The vibe in the stadium was incredible, it gave me shivers,” he says.  

He finished 24th in the event, and 26th overall for the weekend.

2013 was the first year the CrossFit Games used both the soccer stadium and the tennis stadium at the StubHub Center.

 “The experience in the soccer stadium was different from the tennis stadium,” Paquette says. “Compared to the soccer stadium, it was smaller and gave me the impression that the whole crowd was standing right next to me.”

Of the thousands of cheering fans, Paquette points to one in particular who helped him most: fellow Games athlete Albert-Dominic Larouche. The 2013 Canada East Regional champion is also from Quebec, and the two trained together before traveling to Carson. They compete often, and at the Games, it was about helping one another. Larouche, a veteran, passed on his knowledge and experience at every turn.

“I know Albert really well as a friend and fellow athlete, and I know that he’s very consistent," Paquette says. "(He) helped me keep a steady pace in many of the workouts. He also gave me a few good tips during the weekend, particularly about what to expect with the programming."

Paquette claimed three top-10 finishes over the course of the weekend. He also took home $1,000 US from his third-place finish in Row 1.

“It’s always great to win money,” Paquette says, “but finishing third in the (event) made me much happier than the money did.”

What’s on his to-do list for next year?

“I want to arrive more prepared with respect to my nutrition. Since the events start early in the morning and end late at night, it’s difficult to get to the grocery store each night to get what you need,” he says.

Paquette believes experience will help him more than anything else.

“Having lived my first Games experience will help me immensely. I’m very excited to be back training for the 2014 Games.”