This is the story of my life so far: 69 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
Syrille played 3 team sports for McRoberts high school: soccer, basket ball and rugby (rugby union).
He played soccer, but that was not his favorite sport, and the team was not very good, as I remember.
In grade 9 (1995-1996), Syrille went to the basket ball practice sessions before the tryouts, but he did not go to the tryouts! I asked him why, and he told me that he would not have been chosen. I replied that he was sure not to be chosen, because he did not go to the tryouts. Later, I learned that the coach was surprised that he did not try for the team in grade 9, because he was sure that Syrille would have been selected.
In grade 10, Syrille went to the tryouts and was a starter for 3 years in the school basket ball team.
But his preferred team sport was rugby. His position in the team was fullback, that is the last defender of the team. He was very good at that position, because he was able to accelerate and sprint many times during a game. The team was reasonably successful for a small school like McRoberts.
At one point, a selection of high school players from Australia came to British Columbia and played several matches with different teams of the province. One of these teams was made of some of the best players in Lower Mainland, and Syrille was selected to be the fullback for this team.
As expected, the Australians won easily with a score of 45-5. The 5 points scored by the British Columbians were a try by Syrille, who had intercepted the ball, penetrated the Australian defense and run for 45 meters to score. I was there and I was very proud of my son!
In 1995, I was told by Sylvie, the wife of Philippe Kruchten, that a friend of them who had been a Olympian had noticed that Gaëlle was an excellent runner. When I told this to Roseline, she was surprised that I had not noticed that already.
This was several weeks before the BC Elementary Track and Field Championships that were to take place in Richmond, where we were living.
Gaëlle competed in several events, but the one were she was the best was the 800m.
She easily qualified for the final.
After the first 400m, she was leading in front of the girl who had won the event the year before. She was passed by that girl, but she passed her again during the last 200m, and she won the event. This was her first competition in the 800m and she had won it!
Of course, having not trained for long, it took her a long time to recover after the race.
Soon after that, she join the local Track and Field club, the Kajaks, that just happened to be the best club of the province for middle distance runners, mostly thanks to Mike O'Connor who became Gaëlle's coach for many years.
Continue to Part 115
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Part 111 - Part 112 - Part 113