RIDE ALONGSIDE THE WORLD’S MOST ACCOMPLISHED ATHLETES!
The Enbridge® Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital is thrilled to announce the addition of seven of Canada’s finest athletes—Isabelle Charest, Benoît Huot, Marie-Andrée Lessard, Marie-Ève Marleau, Évelyne Boisvert, Tania Vicent and Danek Nowesielski—to our 2017 event.
In addition to Olympic cyclist and 2017 Ride Ambassador, Hugo Barrette, we are honoured to have these fellow Olympians and Paralympian join the rest of our epic Ridership as we unite on July 8-9 in our goal to conquer cancer.
Olympic Speed Skating
Triple Olympic medalist, Isabelle Charest participated in three consecutive Olympic Games from 1994 to 2002 in short-track speed skating, winning three medals in the 3000m relay: silver in 1994 and bronze in 1998 and 2002. She also finished fourth in the 500m at the Salt Lake City Games, took home the gold in the 500m at the 1996 World Cup Championships and placed third in team standings. After being named Canada’s Female Short Track Skater of the Year from 1995 to 1997, Isabelle Charest became the first woman to break the 45-second barrier in the 500m in 1997.
In 2002, Isabelle retired and began working both in media and public relations and as the manager and owner of a fitness facility. As a Université de Montréal Bachelor of Nutrition graduate, Isabelle Charest’s interest for the promotion of sports and healthy living habits definitely stems from her career as a professional athlete.
She also worked with the Canadian Olympic Committee as Program Coordinator for Athlete Services. In 2016, Isabelle served as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, as well as Assistant Chef de Mission at the Rio Games. For the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Charest will lead the delegation as the Canadian Chef de Mission.
Mother of two, Isabelle now lives in the region of Montérégie, where she joined the Commission scolaire du Val-des-Cerfs in 2013 as Communications Coordinator. She remains very involved in various initiatives to encourage young people to stay active and actively contributes to the development of the Montérégie region.
Member of the Order of Canada, Benoît Huot is one of our most recognized and decorated Paralympic athletes. He began swimming at the age of eight, later moving into professional competitions that propelled him to five Paralympic Games where he earned 20 medals—nine of them gold. Through his community involvement with youth, his efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle and his support for athletes with a disability, he inspires all Canadians beyond the bronze, silver and gold.
Olympic Beach Volleyball
Marie-Andrée Lessard teamed up with partner Annie Martin in her first appearance at an Olympic Games in the sport of beach volleyball and finished in 19th place.
Martin and Lessard defeated the Canadian duo of Liz Maloney and Heather Bansley in a one-game qualifying match in Toronto to earn the right to represent Canada in London.
Having started her career in 1999, Lessard is Canada’s longest serving beach athlete. The McGill University alumnus has three National Championships under her belt with Sarah Maxwell in 2005 and 2007 and again with Martin in 2009.
Marie-Ève Marleau began her athletic career as a high level gymnast, but after more than a decade in the sport, she decided to make the switch to diving.
The highlight of her career was competing at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where she finished seventh in the 10m platform. She was able to bounce back from a disappointing qualifying round to earn the top 10 finish in her final competitive event. A year earlier, Marleau had teamed with Émilie Heymans to win gold in the 10m synchro event at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio, successfully defending their title from Santo Domingo in 2003. The duo also won silver at the 2008 FINA World Cup, which served as the test event for the Beijing Games.
Marleau earned her Bachelor of Business with a major in marketing from the Université de Montréal and is currently the Manager of Athlete Marketing at the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Gold medalist at the Canadian Championships and at the Rostock International in Germany in 1993, Évelyne Boisvert represented Canada at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992.
She is an international judge and a level II certified trainer in diving.
Boisvert obtained a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, specializing in aeronautics from l’École polytechnique de l’Université de Montréal. She went on to work for Bombardier Aerospace and was a product engineer at Nortel Networks before accepting a position with Diving Canada as the executive director of Plongeon Québec in 2004. She then returned to Bombardier Aerospace and is now a project engineer with GE Aviation.
Olympic Speed Skating
Tania Vicent started speed skating at age 10 and went on to compete at four Olympic Winter Games, winning a medal at each one to put her amongst Canada’s most decorated Olympians.
A staple of the 3000m relay team throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Vicent helped the team to bronze at Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002 before capturing silvers at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. She achieved her best individual Olympic result in Turin when she won the B Final of the 1000m to finish fourth overall.
Vicent was the veteran presence on the squad at Vancouver 2010, more than a decade older than her relay teammates. The silver was the climax of her comeback from hip surgery for which she needed almost a year to recover.
Vicent had won a world title with the 3000m relay team in 2005. She also collected four silver and three bronze medals in the 3000m relay at the world championships from 1995 to 2010.
Retired since Vancouver 2010, Vicent is now an Olympic Performance Manager for the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Danek Nowesielski is an Olympic fencer from Montreal who proudly represented Canada at three Summer Olympics: Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.
He’s competed in team foil, team épée and individual épée at several World Championships, World Cups, World University Games, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Championships and Canadian Championships.
Nowosielski obtained a Masters of Science in Environmental Geochemistry at McGill University and is now an independent advisor in the financial industry.