Olympic hopeful Marilou Duvernay-Tardif keeps hard at work during COVID-19 pandemic

Marilou Duvernay-Tardif keeps up rowing practice as COVID-19 pandemic drags on
Marilou Duvernay-Tardif is back on the water after the coronavirus pandemic forced rowers to find different ways to practice. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

After COVID-19 restrictions brought training to a halt for more than three months, Marilou Duvernay-Tardif is back on the water.

Duvernay-Tardif, a member of Canada’s rowing team, has begun training on the open waters of Brome Lake in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

The 21-year-old Olympic hopeful says keeping up her training while being confined to her home during quarantine was difficult.

“It’s just really, really, really good to be back,” Duvernay-Tardif said.

Gavin McKay, her provincial head coach, said changes were necessary to keep training up during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have had to adjust,” he said. “For the last three months, we haven’t be able to train on the water.”

Duvernay-Tardif says she has kept in shape working out in her four-and-a-half apartment alongside teammates, as well as cycling the Knowlton hills.

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Duvernay-Tardif  specializes in the sculling style rowing. While she prefers competing in the doubles, she is forced to train for single competitions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Her training starts at the break of dawn. Duvernay-Tardif says she dedicates three to five hours to training on a daily basis, or 20 to 30 hours a week.

McKay said she has climbed up the ranks quite quickly, making a splash in the rowing world.

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Duvernay-Tardif has only been rowing for five years and already she nearly qualified for a spot on Canada’s Olympic team last year in British Columbia.

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“I missed it by a few seconds, which is really sad but I’m also very young,” she said. “It was a very good experience and train with all those amazing athletes.”

McKay says she has the potential to make it to the Olympics some day.

“Normally to get to that level it would take eight to 10 years, so it is quite impressive what she has done,” McKay said

Duvernay-Tardif says she has her eye on the 2024 Olympics.

“It’s pretty exciting but also very scary because it’s another four five years away but we’re working day by day,” she said.

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The rowing star is from successful athletic stock. She is the youngest of three siblings, which includes older brother, Super Bowl champion and doctor, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

She says she looks up to both her siblings when it comes to competing.

“I see my sister and my brother and they are so amazing,” she said.

Duvernay-Tardif will continue training and plans to compete and qualify for the Worlds Championships which are slated to begin in the spring of 2021.

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Team Canada is set to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which was postponed to July 2021.