When I saw the tableau, the little confidence I was able to build during the 30 minutes break received a huge uppercut. I had to fence for the third time in three tournaments Ruben Limardo from Venezuela that beat me 15-5 in 2013, 10-6 at 2015 Pan Am Championships and 13-4 at World Championships last week. He was having a great day and let's say that I had better ones. I used the little time I had to try to come up with a game plan and some confidence for the bout and actually created some. The bout ended up finishing 15-0 for him... It was the worst nightmare possible. I could hear the silence (from my family and friends in the crowd) after every single hit I received and it was painful. There was always someone that was cheering me trying to help me but it was literally like a nightmare, I could not control anything. To my defence, I prepared all my actions, changed from offensive to defensive, changed the target, change the rhythm, change weapon, etc. I tried everything that I could think of at that point but Ruben seamed to always be one move ahead. After answering questions from the journalist (some of them were actually very good even considering the situation I was into), I went back to the fencer's area and I could still not believe what just happened.
After couple of days of talking with other people, I had time to see the big picture and realized that those things happen in our sport and I am not the first, nor the last to live this. I just have to learn what I can from this experience/nightmare and let go of the rest. One thing is for sure now and I am glad that I realized that early in the Olympic qualification: I have to fence for me without nothing to lose because at the end, all of us, we fence because it's fun. I used to think that people that were saying: just have fun, the important is to participate, blah blah blah, were all wrong. Now I know, sadly from a very bad experience, that the important IS to have fun. If you aim for fun, victory will come. If you aim for victory (especially for the wrong reasons), it will not be fun. Now it's time to go out, enjoy the Games and support other Canadian athletes in all sports.
Congratulations to my teammate Hugues Boisvert-Simard who won the bronze medal that day!!!