|Sport: Cross-country & Track|
|Program: NAIG & OFSAA|
|Ancestry: Grassy Narrows First Nation|
|Jersey Number: #3|
|Date of Birth: 1999|
|Weight: 170 lbs|
|Home Town: Timmins, ON|
|Hobbies: basketball, water sports, school studies, training|
|School: Ecole Secondaire Theriault|
Mathieu Plamondon is a Cross-Country and track runner competing in 800m, 1200m, 1500m and 2000m events with aspirations of one day becoming a Canadian Olympian. Mathieu is a multi Gold medal winner in both North American Indigenous Games events and OFSAA events. We got the opportunity to know Mathieu a little bit more…
Aboriginal Sport & Wellness Council of Ontario: How did you develop such a passion for your sport? It isn’t very conventional you know, some kids go right into soccer or hockey or basketball right?
Mathieu Plamondon: Yea. Well I started off in second grade. In gym class they were just starting the program at my school. They asked if anyone wanted to come out and run and originally they said you get to miss some school, so obviously a bunch of kids would want to go ahead and get on the team. I figured out I was pretty good at it, then the coach from my town has a track club and they sent me a letter to join the club and he trained me all through middle school and that’s how I kept going.
ASWCO: Now that you’re at a higher level that you’re at, how do you prepare mentally and physically for the events that you take part in?
MP: The coaches and programs are really good! They know how to set you up with good workouts that help you to peak for the event. In general though staying fit, sleeping well, eating right and a positive attitude will get you far. Most of all, be open and listen to your coaches and do what they say.
ASWCO: There’s such a long and proud history of Aboriginal runners, even at the Olympic level. What does your heritage mean to you as an athlete?
MP: I hope to influence other natives to participate in this sport. I know we had an aboriginal track meet that I attended and spoke to the athletes about how much fun I have. I just really hope I can get more kids to participate and have fun and get to have the experience I have someday.
ASWCO: You mentioned having fun. What do you do for fun when you aren’t training or preparing for a meet?
MP: Well I live at the lake so I like to swim and I have a sea-doo, I like to hang out with my friends. I really like playing basketball, I spend most of my time playing basketball.
ASWCO: You’ve participated in the North American Indigenous Games in Regina. Can you describe what that experience was like for you?
MP: Honestly, that was one of the most fun experiences of my life! The coaches were awesome, they were by far the coolest ones that I’ve ever had in the way they let us do things around the event. It was well organized we were never bored! There was always something to do there, it was like a mini Olympics with everything else going on. You weren’t at the track all day you could go watch other events like basketball!
ASWCO: What’re your long term ambitions with your sport?
MP: I’d like to get a scholarship in the states and continue with the excellent programs that they have in the NCAA. If all goes well there I’d like to go pro or wear a Canadian jersey at the Olympics or a World Championships, that’d be pretty awesome!
ASWCO: Ontario is hosting NAIG 2017. It’s the first time it’s ever been in Ontario. What advice do you have for a kid who is maybe thinking about going, but isn’t sure?
MP: I would tell them to go absolutely because they’ll regret it forever if they don’t go. Like I said it was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had when I went. The people you meet and getting to see more of your culture, you get to meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun. It’s not just about competing or winning…
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