Be Olympic in Quebec City

Be Olympic in Quebec City

by Jason Enlow

A Quebec City winter can be long, good thing there’s Olympic-sized adventure waiting around every snow-covered corner!

Jason_OlympicWatching the closing ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, it struck me that the athletes were experiencing something that they will remember all their lives, and I wanted to be there. Unfortunately, I’ll never make it to the Olympics, unless I’m there as a spectator, or dressed up as some cutesy animal mascot, but I can Be Olympic in my own way. Living in Quebec City makes it easy to get out and push myself to be my personal best.

Last Monday evening, I got my chance. I was invited to try out the outdoor exercise program offered by Cardio Plein Air. I dressed in my thickest layers and headed out to meet the Monday Cardio BootCamp group at the Base de plein air de Sainte-Foy. I was just in time to see them exiting from the warmth of their vehicles, 15 hardy men and women, ready to spend the next hour and fifteen minutes working out in the cold. Before I knew it, our trial had begun and we were stealthily skulking around the lake like middle-aged commandos, lunging and sprinting our way along the snow-packed forest path. At one point, we stopped by the frozen lake to take our ever-escalating pulses. The clouds were billowy and light grey against the onyx sky. A few stars managed to outshine the reflected lights of the city and remind me that I was still alive. It was good. I was Being Olympic.

Proximity is the key to getting out and staying active, even if it means heading downtown for a brisk stroll (and a hot chocolate!) I’ve been trying hard this year to get involved in more winter sports than I usually do. So far, I’ve been snowshoeing at Ski de Fond Charlesbourg, La base de plein air La Découverte and Station touristique Duchesnay, skiing at Stoneham and sledding down a 7.5 km winding mountain run at Le Massif de Charlevoix. I’ve also been to the Gaétan-Boucher Skating Ring a few times with the family. There’s just so much snow and so little time…

Like I mentioned, the Olympics aren’t in the snowballs for me, but for others, living in Quebec City means that your sports-minded aspirations could be a step closer than you think. There are plenty of training centres in the area such as the Relais Aerial Acrobatics Club, the Courcelette Biathlon Club, Skibec Nordique Ski Club and the Sainte-Foy Speed Skating Club. It’s really just the tip of the Ice Hotel of what’s available. If you have kids, you can take advantage of the Children’s Fitness Amount from Revenue Canada: a maximum of $500 per child for fees paid related to the cost of registration or membership in a physical activity program.

Quebec City has produced its share of accomplished athletes. The website Ranker has a list of Olympians from Quebec City that includes Alex Harvey, Marie-Hélène Prémont, Patrick Roy and Paul Stastny. I’ve met a few local sports celebrities, people like Rouge et Or defensive star, Edward Godin, Moncton Wildcat Jacob Sweeney, and retired Olympic speed skater Erika Huszár from Hungary. Hearing what these athletes had to say about sports, life and courage was inspiring. Not unlike that hard-core group of outdoor enthusiasts that meet every Monday and Wednesday, no matter what Mother Nature throws at them. In my opinion, every one of them has what it takes to Be Olympic.

Categories: News, Opinion, Sports

About Author

Jason Enlow

Jason Enlow is a Special Education Technician at an English elementary school. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Jason studied Radio and Television at Ryerson University in Toronto. His previous employers include CityTV, CBC, The Weather Network, and Global Television. He’s worked as a DJ, camera operator, musician, teacher, translator and video game content designer. Jason moved to Quebec City in 1997 where he still lives today with his wife and three sons.

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.