(Sportcom) – It is as a spectator that Alexis Lepage is present at the World Sprint and Triathlon Relay Championships presented this weekend in Montreal. He takes the opportunity to take the pulse of his passion, an essential element if he wishes to return to competition.
The Quebecer had granted himself a little respite after achieving his Olympic dream in Tokyo last summer, and the break was finally extended. It all started with a month of thinking about his future in triathlon, then he pushed back the deadline to Christmas. Then he stopped giving himself an ultimatum.
"I don't know yet if I want to continue doing high-level triathlon in the near future, so I came to encourage my friends to see if the sting is still there," Lepage told Sportcom.
And what was the verdict at the end of the first day of the worlds?
“There was a slight twinge in my heart, but not big enough for me to embark on another Olympic cycle. Maybe it will change with the days or with the months. I continue to train for triathlon. I keep in shape, I have fun, so we'll see."
Last fall, he notably helped the Laval University Rouge et Or cross-country team win the national title at the U Sports Championship, played on the Plains of Abraham. He now works in real estate.
The Olympic cycle that preceded his time in the Japanese capital did not spare the Gatineau resident. Changes at Triathlon Canada, a new coach, injuries and a pandemic complicated the process.
The 28-year-old athlete took part in the Olympic mixed relay replacing Tyler Mislawchuk who was injured in the individual event. Lepage, Amélie Kretz, Joanna Brown and Matthew Sharp placed 14th in the mixed relay.
When he returned home, the salty air of the Magdalen Islands combined with a break from training allowed him to recover well during his vacation.
"It's been a month without doing anything. I wanted to take time to think. My life goal was to go to the Olympics and I achieved it. Now, do I want to redo this goal or do I want to give myself another one? I'm still in thinking mode," he said.
“I was able to sleep over 8 hours without a problem for the first time in my adult life. […] There was one night when I slept 11 hours, it was unheard of for me! I think the pressure faded and I was more serene.
A gray area
Alexis Lepage said he was very proud of the performance of Quebecers on Friday. Emy Legault and Charles Paquet qualified for the finals in the elite category, while Noémie Beaulieu and Mathis Beaulieu were the best Canadians in the junior category in the morning. They finished 4th and 7th in their respective races.
In March, Lepage accompanied the Quebec team for a preparatory camp. He thus had the opportunity to advise Mathis and Noémie Beaulieu on various technical aspects of their sport.
After having practiced triathlon for 18 years, Lepage acquired an important background to pass on to the next generation. However, the coaching role is not what interests him at the moment.
“I am really happy to see that there is a good succession. It bodes well for the future of triathlon in Quebec, and in Quebec too, he said. I'd like to give back a bit and there's some experience I could pass on, but [coaching] that's not necessarily what I want to do with my life right now."
By his own words, Lepage remains in a gray area and does not close the door definitively. Pulling off a good run on the international stage would take a few weeks or even months of preparation, but he doesn't rule out the possibility.
Right now, he just prefers to enjoy the show.