August 09, 2021
Nickname: Marj, Marjo
Age: 20 years
Hometown: Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
Spirit Animal: Butterfly – “I never thought of it, so I just did a quick online quiz, and it is telling me that my spirit animal is the butterfly, and I like what it says: The butterfly has the ability to go through important changes with grace and lightness.”
Currently training at the Ice Academy of Montreal and representing Canada in Ice Dance, Marjorie skated for the first time at the age of 3.
“My dad brought me to free skating, and I didn’t want him to help me skate, even though it was my very first time on the ice.”
As a child, she also played piano, participated in horseback riding, and acting.
“Because I had too much to do as a young kid, my parents asked me to choose something to stop and I said, “Yes, you are right, I need to stop school.” But because school was not an option (obviously), I finally chose to focus on skating because it was the thing I loved the most.”
At the age of 7, Marjorie went to a sports-study training centre where she was surrounded by older skaters, a lot of whom were doing ice dance.
“This is when I decided that I wanted to do dance, just like them. It took 3 years of search before finding my partner that I now have for the last 10 years, Zach.”
“We won every competition until entering the junior circuit.”
The team finished second at nationals during their junior season debut in 2016, and proceeded to attend junior worlds where they placed thirteenth overall.
The Youth Olympic games in 2016, and more specifically the team event, is one of Marjorie's biggest competitive highlights thus far.
“It was the first time we didn’t have to compete [for ourselves], but for a team.”
Winning the Junior World Title in 2019, with world records, is another huge highlight of her career.
“My senior debut was hard, I put a lot of pressure on myself coming up as the world junior champions and didn’t perform well at our first international competition. I managed to calm down after, I learned a lot during the season, and finished second at Nationals.”
Most recently, Marjorie and Zach finished 14th at the 2021 World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden and were able to contribute a third qualifying spot for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
“With the pandemic, our first Worlds in Montreal were cancelled, which was heartbreaking because we were supposed to be in front of our home crowd. The World Championships [in Sweden were still] a super great experience although we were still in the middle of a pandemic.”
Q: Who is someone in your life that inspires or motivates you?
“My family. We are always there for each other, fighting for what we believe in. We are all very close and have created a welcoming oasis, even with the challenges of elite athletes’ lifestyle and a little brother with autism.”
Q: Who was your skating ‘role-model’ when you were younger?
“Tessa virtue and Scott Moir, they always were, and still are. First, they are the best ice dancers of all time, and they are Canadians. Their connection, powerful and effortless way of skating always inspired me. They are simply two amazing human beings that have achieved incredible results.”
Q: What is your favourite type of off-ice training?
“I love off-ice training! ALMOST as much as skating. I can’t decide between Pilates, Eccentrics and Yoga. The feeling it provides me during and after is amazing. It is as good for my body as it is for my mind.”
Q: What is your favourite element in skating?
“Footwork; because of the precision it takes, and also the opportunity we have to interpret and dance on the music.”
“Twizzles, because it is the most stressful element in competition (for most ice dancers, I’m pretty sure). It is a very sensitive element. If you are not well placed from the beginning, or if you lose balance, you are very likely to miss it, and everyone can see when you miss a twizzle, it’s not like a turn that only professionals will notice. And on top of that, it’s worth lot of points. I motivate myself to practice it by knowing that the more I repeat it properly, the more I can get confident to get it in competition.”
Q: Do you do any type of visualization or meditation?
“I have been doing visualization since I was very young. My mom, who is a performance psychologist, showed me a technique when I was a kid, and explained me how important and useful it was.”
“I usually do visualization before running a full program during practice or before a competition. It helps to calm me down and put me “in the zone”.”
Q: What’s your favourite ‘get in the zone’ or ‘hype up’ song?
“It changes a lot. At Worlds 2021, it was “Started from the Bottom” because it reminded me that it is amazing to be at our first worlds with the team, and it had both a calming and stimulating effect on me at the same time.”
Q: Do you have any other pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
“Yes, I love to warm up and sit in the changing room always in the same place. I [also] always take five deep breaths before going on the ice.”
Q: You’re on the ice at a major event waiting for your music to start; what are you thinking?
“OMG I’m going to do this!”
Q: Did you ever endure some type of adversity in your career?
“Yes of course!”
“I have received comments about my body during my career, especially in the middle of my puberty, by coaches and international judges. This seriously needs to change. [When they] planted that idea in my mind, I started to question myself, it had never occurred to me before. Since then, I am working on not comparing my body to others and accepting myself as I am. If influential people tell you to lose weight, I suggest getting advice from a professional nutritionist to assess whether [you actually need to]. In my case, the professional told me that my weight was healthy, and refused to build an action plan around weight loss. [Instead], they just gave me advice on how to maximize my energy level. I don’t think that to be a good skater, you need to be tiny, I think you need to be strong and healthy, just like in any other sport.”
Also, when it comes to injuries, “Being off of the ice for a long time and being scared of losing what I worked [so hard] for and making tough decisions like missing a competition and listening to the doctors instead of coaches [was hard]. I would recommend to always listen to doctors and focus on long term health rather than immediate results.”
Marjorie also address the added stress of balancing school and skating. “Because training is taking so much room and energy in my life, I always have this afterthought of not being able to finish my studies, and so not being able to do the job I really want to do after my skating career. I strongly believe that if you are passionate about something, you can always find a way to achieve it; although it may not be a standard path.”
Q: Do you have any advice for young and aspiring skaters?
“Don’t judge, compare, or try to change your body.”
Q: Have you learned any life lessons from skating?
“If you work hard in something you are passionate about, everything is possible.”
Q: What is your ultimate goal with skating?
“Going to the Olympics and doing our best possible performance. It has always has been my dream.”
Q: What do you love most about skating?
“I am a big perfectionist, so I love the attention we put on every detail and balancing this great focus on details with a feeling of freedom and natural movement.”
Q: What is your favourite skating memory?
“Patinage Atypique! Being able to use my passion, my talent and my skating family to raise money to help families and people with autism; I was really moved (way beyond the thrill of winning any type of medal) to see my skating friends, family and fans all together for a cause that is very important for me.”
Q: If skating didn’t exist and you could be anything else in the world what would it be?
“Great question, it is hard for me to imagine myself not skating… I would for sure do sport, maybe horseback riding and try to go to the Olympics in that discipline.”
Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
From the age of 10 to 14, she was a prankster for the TV show called ‘Just Kidding’.
“It was one of the funniest things I have ever done.”
Also, “I LOVE FOOD and I can’t park properly…I’m never strait in between the yellow lines and I always touch the curb.”
Marjorie notes her love for cats and plants as well as her passion for equity, diversity & inclusion in addition to forensic psychology.
Currently studying through “cégep à distance”, Marjorie is planning on attending university soon.
“I am interested in the fields of equity, diversity & inclusion, and psychology.”
While her interests are expansive, she explains that she would enjoy a career in either of these fields, “to try to make a positive difference in the world.”
“During my skating career, I will go to university and start studies that will allow me to evolve towards those aspirations.”
She also hopes to someday visit France.
“It looks so beautiful, I can’t believe I never went… and they speak French just like me!”
Lastly, what does it mean to you to have a #ChampionshipMindset?
“For me, it starts with a passion. Second, make that passion a priority in your life. And third, do everything you can to be the best in that passion. Having positive, competitive and ignited thoughts. It is to love both training and competing.”