By Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny
Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny started his canoeing career at the age of 12 to make sure he was fit to play hockey during the winter. The athlete from Trois-Rivières, however, quickly realized, with some medals from the National Championships around his neck, that it was with sprint paddling that he would realize his dream of becoming an Olympian.
Later, Beauchesne-Sévigny competes in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He finishes fifth in the C-2 500m with his teammate Andrew Russell. He is not the only Beauchesne-Sévigny to represent Canada in China, Gabriel’s sister, Geneviève, was also on the Canadian team. Despite the podiums that accumulate in 2009 and 2010, Gabriel misses his Olympic qualification for London.
Showing strong resilience and strength, the trifluvian canoeist devotes all his efforts to training to finally demonstrate his power and versatility athletic. His efforts paid off in 2013 when him and his new partner Benjamin Russell, Andrew’s younger brother, won their first World Cup gold medal and finished fourth at the World Championships, a result they achieved again at the 2014 World Championships. Together, they win the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
Gabriel had his Olympic dream for the first time with the presence of Canadian paddler Dave Frost at the Trois-Rivières Canoe Kayak Club. Wearing his 1992 Olympic team jacket, Dave represents what Gabriel wants to be, an Olympian. He shares his passion by training with young people and giving conferences in schools. The athlete has been an ambassador for the Clean Air Champion, “Jouez Gagnant” and RBC Olympians programs. Gabriel finished his fourteen year of paddling with the National Team in 2016. In total, he has collected 23 World Cup medals and a bronze medal at the World Championships.
After completing his Bachelor of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa, and his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Queen’s University, Gabriel joined the Johnson and Johnson team in Toronto in January 2018 He still intends to maintain his role as ambassador for healthy lifestyles and will undoubtedly be padding on Canada’s rivers and lakes for decades to come.