By Marion Thénault
Sport has always been part of my life. My parents put me into gymnastics when I was 3 and I just never stopped. As I grew in the sport, I was developing my passion for flipping while learning what it takes to be an athlete: determination, discipline, perseverance, etc. When I was 13, I started trampoline alongside my gymnastics career because my strength has always been my aerial sense and my power, and I just loved going higher and flipping more.
When I finished high school, I knew my gymnastics career was coming to an end. I was now 5’9, which is very tall for a gymnast, and I knew I had almost reached my maximum potential in this sport. The thing is that I didn’t want to quit gymnastics if I wasn’t going to do anything else to replace it, but I didn’t know in which sport I could reinvest all the work I had put in in gymnastics. That’s when I heard of the RBC Training Ground. I went to my regional final not really knowing what to expect but having nothing to lose. There, I met an aerial skiing coach who invited me to come to an assessment camp on water ramps. I had never really heard of that sport and had only skied a couple times in my life, but I decided to go and try.
It is at that first aerial camp that things really changed. I fell in love with the sport and knew from that moment that I had found my new passion, the new sport in which I had a lot of potential, where I could give my all and continue flipping. In the few weeks following that summer, I decided I was going to move from home and put my aerials career as my top priority. I entered in the RBC Future Olympian Program and I started to train on snow, on trampoline and in conditioning with the Laurentian Team.
By the end of the winter, I had learned so many things about freestyle skiing and was now part of this big family. I now have the opportunity to train full-time with the national development team and I can set big goals for my career. So many things have changed this past year and I am so grateful to RBC to have given me the opportunity to live my dream in aerial skiing, a sport that I never would have thought could be mine.