MONTREAL, AUGUST 31, 2011 - Olympic and world champion synchronized swimmer Sylvie Fréchette gave a motivational speech to nearly 180 English Montreal School Board (EMSB) daycare technicians and educators.
Fréchette was the special guest speaker August 30 as Daycare Services Manager, Rosa Fuoco, kicked off the new academic year with a conference for all daycare employees at Royal Vale School in NDG. “Sylvie’s story relit my candle,” said Fuoco. “I’m refocused and ready to continue setting goals for myself, in my career, family and personal life.”
Fréchette won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 1986 and five years later, she became the world champion at the World Aquatic Championship in Australia. On July 18, 1992, just a week before the Barcelona Olympic games, Fréchette’s fiancé committed suicide. Despite this difficult time, Fréchette insisted on pursuing her Olympic dream. During the compulsory figures, one judge gave her the wrong score due to a technical error, pushing her to fourth place. She finished second in combo. Fréchette waited 16 months before being awarded the gold medal she earned.
Fuoco invited Fréchette to the Daycare Services conference in hopes of stimulating other members of the daycare community. Fréchette relayed the same powerful message to the daycare audience as the one that sparked a flame in Fuoco. “Have your personal podium,” said Fréchette. “Invest your time and passion into a project and goal by goal, step by step, you will accomplish what you have set out for yourself to do,” continued Fréchette.
Our Lady of Pompei Daycare technician Agatina Nicita says the message was inspirational. “It’s refreshing to see how someone who faced so many obstacles in her life was able to keep focused and achieve her goals,” said Nicita, who knows what her career-related podium is. “I want to make sure that the safety and well being of the children are always respected,” she continued.
Fréchette’s book, A Chacun Son Podium, will be released September, 28, 2011.