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Jesse LaCourse |  At the heart of the golden legend

Jesse LaCourse | At the heart of the golden legend

They are five student athletes who share a desire to build a future in which women can shine. Today, it is the second in a series of five photos, Jesse LaCourse’s photo.


In a few years, perhaps Rouge et Or University Laval athletes will be able to believe their team’s name was inspired by Jessy Lacourse, because the Quebec Schools Network’s student-athlete with distinction has red in the heart and gold in the neck.

Jessie LaCourse has broken no fewer than three regional records this season. in the 5000m, in the mile indoors and in the 1500m indoors.

However, her proudest mark remains her time of 9:40 in the steeplechase, held in May 2021, in New York. “By far the best race of my life,” the 26-year-old runner recalls nostalgically.

Moreover, she accurately remembers all her times. Eerily, she recalls with an unsettling attention to detail her good and bad racing times from her start in high school. in cross country, triathlon, athletics and steeplechase.

Lacourse is distinguished by its diversity. She is skilled and talented in multiple events, on different surfaces and in different environments.

It may be small, but it’s still the tallest.

A master’s student in psychiatry and osteopathy came to sit at a table in the main park of PEPS, Université Laval, just after training. In this space backed by wood beams and bordered by huge windows overlooking the pool, LaCourse has settled down proudly in a gray jersey from the recent Canadian Championships.

Specifically, the interview took place directly under the banner of the National Cross Country Champions, of which it was a part in 2022, hanging at the end of the podium.

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“It’s pretty, isn’t it?” ! LaCourse yelled when he pointed at him.

To finish beautifully

Lacourse looks at the banner with affection, as it is a tangible sign of his time at Université Laval. An adventure that will end soon. “It makes me feel somewhat nostalgic. In a few weeks, she will leave Rouge et Or to pursue her sport professionally.

Photo provided by Jesse LaCourse

Jesse LaCourse

It will always be my home. When you’re red and gold, you’re for life.

Jesse LaCourse

Lacours was born in Quebec, in Chemin-Saint-Foy. “I was meant to come here. Half her life, however, has been spent in Victoriaville. It is impossible for her to say where she came from, the two cities occupying an equivalent place in her career.”

However, we can safely say that she sowed her seeds in Victoriaville and reaped the fruits in Quebec.

She was recruited by Jack Hines, a physical education teacher at a high school in Victoriaville. “Oh my God, fire Lacourse. He’s such an important person to me. I still talk to him every week.”

Every spring, Hines held cross country races for the fifth and sixth graders. LaCourse won the first time and the second the second. “Jack came to see me to ask if I wanted to join the suburban club.”

But his beginnings in high school were less easy. “I wasn’t very good. I didn’t even qualify for the provincials. I didn’t know how to run a race,” she admits.

Things have changed a lot, because with its overtaking and toughness, Lacourse has proven to be more efficient than its competitors. As talented as she was, at the age of 16 she competed with athletes up to the age of six. A few years later, everyone knows his name on the University of Laval campus.

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“It’s only because my name is catchy,” she jokes.

In fact, Lacourse marked not only the history of Rouge et Or, but also the history of Quebec athletics. You have to slide your index finger multiple times on the mouse wheel to get to the end of the list of all the honors you have received in recent years. She is the face of her sport and the heart of her program.

Photo provided by Jesse LaCourse

Jesse LaCourse

I am not doing this for recognition or for everyone to know me. I run because I have fun, I fulfill myself and because I want to be proud of myself.

Jesse LaCourse

She gave a lot of clarity to Rouge et Or. In turn, Rouge et Or allowed her to fulfill her childhood dream. “Since I was in high school, I knew I was going to come to Quebec. I had offers from somewhere else that I didn’t even look at. It was clear, clear and precise that I was going to come to Université Laval.”

Now she dreams of the Olympic Games. For Paris 2024, I will work hard. »

She also wants to pass on her passion for a job well done and her desire to persevere no matter what to her youngest. This is why she has a bachelor’s degree in pre-school and elementary education. This is why she is pursuing a master’s degree in education.

“I’ve always loved school. I couldn’t see myself leaving school. I’ve loved it since I was little. I used to play at school. I think I have my place in teaching.”

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When he met Jacques Haines LaCourse, one thing about his student struck him. “He said I was very ordinary, but I had to want to.”

With time, Lacourse turned the ordinary into the extraordinary and the will into success.