October 25, 2021
Hometown: Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada
Spirit Animal: “I would probably be the softest and fluffiest animal that exists since I love everything like that, so I would probably be a bunny. And plus, bunnies are jumping all the time so it kind of works with figure skating.”
“Trust the timing of your life.”
Beginning her journey in skating at just the age of two, Justine currently trains in Ontario, Canada with her fifth and current partner, Zachary Daleman.
“…My parents were often going to skate just for fun and when they brought me, I kept pointing the ice with my little finger, so they made me feel the ice and I totally fell in love with it. Right after this event, my aunt Isabelle Brasseur, who was a World champion and 2-time Olympic medalist, gave me some mini skates and this is when everything started.”
“I started in private lessons when I was 4 years old with my first coach, Josée Picard. She really transferred me her passion for figure skating. I started skating in pairs when I was 6 and for many years, I was competing in singles and pairs. I stayed with Josée until I was 14 and I then went to Bruno Marcotte. I decided to stop competing in singles at the age of 17 to focus only on one discipline and here I am now, still skating under Bruno, and I am extremely happy.”
Describe yourself in one word.
“Positive. I think I can say that I am someone that always tries to see the positive in every situation. I like to surround myself with positive vibes because I believe that having a mindset like this can help us go through anything in life, and plus, it is so much more enjoyable and better for our mental state.”
Q: Who is someone in your life that inspires or motivates you?
“My parents are definitely always inspiring and motivating me for everything that I do. They showed me that hard work and perseverance is so essential in life, and they taught me what is really important, such as being happy. Whenever I need [them], they are always there to support and to help me believe in myself at all times.”
Q: Who was your skating ‘role-model’ when you were younger?
“I’ve always looked up to my aunt because she was always such a hard worker and was always devoting herself to her skating. Joanie Rochette was also my idol because she was such a beautiful skater inside and outside. She’s an inspiration for the skater she was but also for the person she is.”
Q: What is your favourite element in skating?
“I think my favorite element is the Twist, because it really feels like I’m flying and the feeling of freedom is incredible. I know the artistic part of the skating such as the interpretation is not an element but it’s really important and is also something that I really love.”
“My least favorite, throws, are still elements that I like but [they have always been the most] difficult for me. I’m really starting to enjoy it more and more with time, and I think putting less pressure on myself helped me to be more consistent and more comfortable with them.”
“I’m a really visual person and watching lots of videos of other skaters also helped me improve. Who knows, maybe one day it will become my favorite element.”
Q: What is your favourite type of off-ice training?
“I really love going to the gym, but one of my favorite workouts is yoga. It just always makes me feel so good and it’s a type of workout that you can really explore and is not always the same. I also love HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. It pushes your limits but in a really fun way.”
Q: Do you have any pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
“I don’t really have superstitions because I don’t really want to have [any]. The only thing I can think of is that I always put my left skate on first, but if I would put my right one on first, it really wouldn’t be the end of the world. I like to think [about] always staying in the present moment and enjoying every second of it. All competitions are different with a different environment, so I am always prepared to face and adapt to any situation. I want to focus on myself instead of relying on my superstitions. But just to be clear, I really support everyone that has superstitions, I just think that for me, it’s best not [to have any].”
Q: Do you do any type of visualization or meditation?
“Yes, I actually love meditating. I’ve been visualizing since I was super young, probably since I was 10 years old, [mainly] before competitions, but meditation is something that I have added more recently, about three years ago. I definitely want to meditate more because every time I do, it’s bringing me a peacefulness that feels so amazing. It’s really good for the mind.”
Q: Did you ever endure some type of adversity in your career?
“Yes. I think pretty much all skaters have to face some obstacles such as injuries, stress or many other types of [set] back, but in those moments it’s important to stay positive and do everything we can to get better. It is all in never giving up and in the way we handle the situation. With a positive mindset and attitude, we can face and overcome anything.
“As for myself, I did have to face some injuries, especially some ankle problems. Sometimes it does get really hard, but I try to stay positive and only focus on what I can do to heal. Having a supporting environment and good coaches and specialists around me is always something that helps me. I’m so grateful to have them in my life because without them it would be totally different.“
Q: How do you remain composed during major competitive events?
“My dad actually always told me a sentence that is always in my mind, especially during competitions, “One thing at a time.”. I always try to stay in the present moment and to not think about what's coming [next]. It actually makes me enjoy every second of my performance and it [becomes] less stressful because all I have to do, is to stay in the ‘now’.
Q: On days that you don’t feel like training, what keeps you motivated?
“I remember why I do it, and it’s because skating makes me happy. So, on the days where I put too much pressure on myself or I just don’t feel like it, I try to really just go on the ice to enjoy it and to skate for myself. My motivation usually comes back quickly!”
Q: What is it that you love most about skating?
“I love that when I step onto the ice, I can really be myself and feel free. Performing is one of the best feelings ever. I can express myself however I want and it’s a feeling that I have never felt anywhere, or in anything else. Figure skating has really made me grow as a person and is really an amazing life experience that I will always be grateful for.”
Q: What is your ultimate goal with skating?
“I’ve always said that my primary goal is to be happy, but of course, I have other goals such as becoming top in the World and go to the 2026 Olympics in Italy. I will make sure to work really hard to be able to achieve those dreams. I would say that these goals were always there, but before, I didn’t know if it would be in singles or pairs. Now, I definitely know in which discipline and I am so excited for all my future accomplishments in figure skating.”
Q: How has skating prepared you for life?
“I think the biggest thing that it has taught me was to never give up. Hard work with love, passion, and happiness can bring us so far in life. Skating is really a life lesson that shows us that we are capable of so much, and that we are so strong mentally and physically as humans. I always learn more and more about myself because of skating and it’s crazy how we can transfer our perseverance, hard work, and dedication of skating into all aspects of our life.”
Q: What’s something funny or unique that most people don’t know about you?
“I think by now a lot of people know this about me, but I am a huge sunset lover and I even have a sunset account on Instagram.”
Be sure to check it out!! @jujusunsets
“I also have a fluffy jacket addiction and my car is filled with soft jackets that feel like blankets. If you open my trunk, don’t be surprised to have an explosion of fluffs lol. As much as I love cute things, I absolutely love rap songs, which surprises a lot of people.”
Q: If skating didn’t exist and you could be anything else in the world, what would it be?
“I’ve always loved music and dancing, so maybe I would have been a dancer. I also think that being an actress would have been something that I would have done because I love the idea a lot.”
“The fashion world is always something that interested me, so maybe something with this as well. Basically, I would have stayed in the artistic world. If I think outside the box, believe it or not, I would have loved to be a rapper.”
Q: What type of music gets you motivated or ‘in the zone’?
“It's always different and always changes depending on what I feel at the moment, but I really love Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber so it would most likely be songs from them.”
Q: What do you aspire to accomplish post competitive career?
“I have many things and goals that I want to do after my skating career and of course, I want to finish my school and get a job that I love. But one thing I want to be able to do is travel a lot and be able to see sunsets from all over the world. That would be so awesome.”
“I want to be able to enjoy my life and always be happy, so in everything that I do I will always give my 100% and I know that it will be rewarding. I would also be interested in maybe having my own business with something in the fashion world, but who knows, one day at a time!”
Justine is currently in Cegep, which is in between high school and university, and completing online courses.
“I am planning to go to the university, but since I am taking my time with my studies to focus on my skating, I don’t know when I will attend or in what field.”
Q: Where is one place you’ve never been but hope to one day visit?
“Japan. Apparently skating in Japan is so amazing with the crowd, because they are all big fans and supporters of figure skaters. Italy would also be so amazing because I love the way of living over there. I’m just hoping to visit as many countries as I can.”
Q: What is your favourite memory from skating?
“My favorite skating memory would definitely be when I went to the Youth Olympic games in 2016. It was such an unbelievable experience and I feel super grateful that I attended this event.”
Q: Any advice for young and aspiring skaters?
“I would like to tell them to try to always stay positive and happy. It is a sport that is not always easy, but we have to remember the reason why we are doing it and to make sure that it brings us happiness even during the hard times. As long as we are doing something that we like and that makes us happy, then we can go as far as we want to.”
Lastly, what does it mean to you to have a #ChampionshipMindset?
“To me, having a #ChampionshipMindset is to always believe in yourself and stay positive throughout the whole process, even in moments that are more difficult. We have to be strong mentally and physically, always do our best, and never give up.”