You started your new swimming season for this year while watching the Sidney 2000 Olympics. You seemed to enjoy watching any events that came up, cheering for China? We both knew to look for the swimming events. Of course swimming was one of the first events presented and it had to fall the first week of your own 2000-2001 swimming season.

How enthusiastic you have become about your swimming, dreaming now of the future, wanting to be in the Olympics.

Watching Ian Thorpe, that Australian swimmer, at 17 years old and being called the Torpedo,… wearing shoe size 17. There you were making your own analysis, at the 2008 Olympics you will be 19 years old at an age where you will perform at your best, thinking “I am now 11 years old wearing shoe size 7, what size will I be wearing when I’ll be swimming at the 2008 Olympics and where will be the Olympics 2008??? “ …possibly Toronto , we’ll know next June…..

You know very well the difference having long feet will do when having to beat an opponent with fractions of second. What a kick you could get with those size 17 feet.

You have now started a knew phase of your swimming . New training five times per week, two hours of non-stop swimming each time. You want to change some of the way you eat and are looking at ways to become even more fit. Was this the Olympics fever, I am wondering how long will this last, will you be as enthusiastic in a few months, when it will be getting even harder to keep up with your training program?

Your dream, your ambition, to one day swim at the Olympics will last for as long as you want it. The reality of making it there, and reaching your goal will be possible only if you are willing to make all the efforts and sacrifices that come with such ambitions.

Wanting it,… you know so well what it means. Swimming and training to the point of pain, having to get up at 5:00am to be by the pool side on time, before going to school. Coming back from evening trainings at 7:30pm with an empty stomach because you did not have supper. Sometimes, feeling sick to your stomach before a major competition because of the stress you feel from the competitions. Knowing the risk of being disqualified at a competition just for moving so slightly when waiting for the starting gun shot. You know that all of these elements, each of these factors makes you an excellent swimmer and continuously improving.

How exciting it is to watch you swim your favourite style the breaststroke, to watch you swim the 200 medley, coming from behind because the butterfly style has slowed you down and passing the others when its time for the breaststroke.

We know the butterfly is not your style, when you first learned the “fly” you did not look forward of having to swim it and yet you won the silver medal at the 50 m butterfly at

the end of the last season at the Eastern Québec Regional Championship.

This year you have now reached one of your objectives to get some qualifying times, allowing you to compete at higher levels of competition, in Québec, your first A standard qualifying time from the Rimouski competition of November 4, 2000.

At the Défi Excel Rouge et Or of the Laval University of Québec city where on December 1. 2 .3 you improved all of your personal best times. There you were swimming among 630 swimmers from the ages of 10 years old to 20 years old and more. Swimming among the best in Québec.

You know you are getting closer and closer every day of reaching your goal for this year of making it to the Provincial Summer Games, “Les Jeux du Québec”, that will be held in Lachine August 8 to August 11 next summer.

You know my son, for me you are a champion, I am so proud of you and not only because you excel in your sport, but also because you are kind and considerate to others. You get along with everyone no matter who they are or where they come from, you are respectful of others. You have those qualities that make you a very special person and there is no gold medal for that, you are most precious and I know you will do well in all that you do because of the person you are. Thank you for being who you are and I love you. Your mom.

Here is this year’s competition schedule for Gabriel

November 4, 2000; Regional Competition/ Rimouski December 1, 2, 3, 2000 ; Provincial Competition,/ Québec, University Laval

January 27, 28, 2001 ; Regional Competition/ Rivière du Loup

February 23, 24, 25, 2001, Provincial AA/ Montréal March 24, 25,2001 ; Regional Competition/ Trois Pistoles April 27,28 29, 2001 ; Provincial Team Championship/ Alma June, 1, 2 ,3,2001 ; Provincial Competition A-AA-AAA/ Québec University Laval

June 23 & 24, 2001 ; Final East Québec Region & qualification for Québec Summer Games In Gaspé

August 8 to 11, 2001, Québec Summer Games/ in Lachine /Montréal