After reading several biographies of his favorite athletes, including Andre Agassi in 2021, Charles Hamelin told himself he had a story to tell and that he wanted to embark on the adventure.
In the biography mission accomplished Available in bookstores since Thursday, Canada’s greatest six-medal men’s Olympic medalist tells the story of his career since his debut at Les Fines Lames in Sainte-Julie, where he was far from the best; from the time he was bullied at the end of elementary school for his “sticky ears” and “crooked teeth” to his outburst at the 2003 World Juniors and appearing at five Olympics.
Author Luc Bellemarre, journalist and presenter at RDS, fulfilled several roles during this exercise, which lasted almost a year. “Luc has become a therapist and a psychologist over the course of our meetings,” said Hamelin, who finished his career with 142 World Championships medals, six at the Olympics and 38 at the World Championships. “There were times when I laughed out loud, others when I cried or was angry. Luc has become like a big brother and he knows me as well as I do. »
“Those encounters helped me start the process of retiring and haunting the skater who gave up his long skates last April after winning bronze in the 5000m relay at the World Championships in Montreal. The biography also allowed me to close books on aspects that were not closed. It has allowed me to free my mind. »
Among those chapters he was able to close, Hamelin talks about his split from skater Marianne St-Gelais after a decade of dating, his failures at the 2018 Peyongchang Olympics, and his triumphant exit for a lap of honor with his daughter Violette in arms at the World Championships after her last career race to the cheers of the crowd.
“Those images of Violette in my arms were really turning in my head and I was able to turn the page of my career,” he said. My focus now is on my life as a father. Our second daughter will be born in January. The book is much for them to know the follies of their father’s youth, if they have a taste for them.
Despite humble beginnings, Hamelin never gave up. “I wasn’t gifted or born with talent, but I believed in my dreams, I worked hard and I had my family to rely on. My successes show that nothing is impossible. Like my parents with me and my brothers, I will be there to accompany my daughters in their dreams and their madness.
As the first of the siblings to practice speed skating, François Hamelin inspired his brother.
“I didn’t earn anything and François’ successes were my motivation. I said to myself that if I work hard, maybe one day I’ll be as good as him.
Although François’ performances motivated him, the Sainte-Julie engine could count on the tireless support of his father Yves, who played all the roles throughout his career.
“He understood how he had to act to take us as far as possible while having as much fun as possible. He has coached two Olympians. We have a special bond and a unique relationship.”
Hamelin is overwhelmed by his journey. “My wins, my mistakes and my journey have made me who I am. I regret nothing. For this reason, the mission is accomplished.”
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