One of the most prominent Quebec-born athletes was honoured in his hometown Wednesday. Former mixed martial arts fighter Georges St-Pierre unveiled his look-alike bronze sculpture Wednesday morning in his hometown of Saint-Isidore, Que.
The artwork is part of the new Place Georges St-Pierre public space, located 30 minutes south of Montreal.
“To have, like Rocky Balboa, a monument that represents who I am in my hometown, it’s the biggest honour I ever received. A bigger honour than my Hall of Fame induction, than all of my belts,” St-Pierre said.”
The sculpture showcases St-Pierre in his signature fighting stance, elbows up with his hands in fists in a ready position. The five-foot-10-inch statue even has a matching chest tattoo.
The bronzed figure sits in the centre of an octagon-shaped garden. The octagon represents the eight-sided MMA cage where the two division UFC champion cemented his reputation as an athlete.
Eight of St-Pierre’s core values, including family and perseverance, are written in stone around the figure.
“These words, that really represent me and I really stand for it and they were on the walls at the gyms,” St-Pierre said.
While St-Pierre was all smiles at the event, he admits he was hesitant to accept the honour at first.
“My life is public and I think in order to protect people I love I tried to keep the rest private,” he said.
But now that he’s turned 40, the icon wants to make sure he leaves his mark — and what better way to do it than in the place he grew up.
“This is a story of an underdog that had a dream and nobody believed in his dream. But he kept working hard, he made the right choice and of course he had the support of all his community,” St-Pierre said.
The town’s mayor says the community is extremely proud to pay tribute to the man they are honoured to say is from Saint-Isidore.
Sculptor Tali Levesque, from the neighbouring municipality of Mercier, was tasked with creating the statue, a job that took six months to complete. She told Global News it was an immense honour to be chosen for such an extraordinary project, for an extraordinary person.
Dozens of locals including schoolchildren admired the hometown hero at the event. St-Pierre hopes that his statue inspires kids for generations to come.
“Everything is possible if you want it and work hard enough and make the right choice with the help of your community and family behind you,” said St-Pierre.
“Everything is possible.”