After giving her team the world gold, the captain of Les Suprêmes announces her retirement
Laurie - left - on the Hamilton ice in April where her team was crowned world champions. (Credts: Sean McKinnon - 2022)
Although Laurie Désilets will no longer be on the competitive ice, the former captain of Les Suprêmes (CAN) - the 2022 World Champions - will continue to inspire the younger generation.
Laurie Désilets: I decided to hang up my skates as an athlete because when I look back at my career, I am extremely proud and at peace with it. The World Championships were definitely the cherry on the sundae, but regardless I believe that my decision would have been the same no matter the results. I was truly ready to move onto another chapter.
I continue to tie up my skates every day as I am truly privileged to share my passion as a coach.
Was it a difficult decision?
To be honest, I have been anticipating this moment for quite some time. When I think back on the times leading up to my decision, the hardest part was saying it aloud. It made it official.
I was completely torn with how I felt about my decision because I do still love to skate. I could not understand how on one end, I felt so at peace with my career and ready to move on from being a competitor, yet on the other I would do it all over again… even after 11 years as a Senior haha ! I realized how strong my love for the sport still is when I was told that if I did not love skating,if I did not love the sport, I would not love coaching either. At that moment it all was clear how it was the complete opposite.
Have you been thinking about this for a long time?
Indeed, I have been thinking about it for a while now. As I mentioned previously, it was a thought process that was spread over a few seasons. My coaches always told me that retiring as an athlete is something that you have to prepare for. By nature, I am someone who needs to always know what my next step is, so this type of decision definitely was not one that I could have taken from one day to the next without further reflection.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 season, I told my coaches that it might be my last one. At the time, I was turning 26, I was competing, I was working full-time and I had just accepted to start coaching the Les Suprêmes Pre-Juvenile team… To say the very least, my plate was pretty full. My previous Senior competitive season was personally one of the most difficult, especially because we had not qualified for the World Championships.
No words could ever explain the vivid voice I heard in my head to not stop there. My mission was still not complete…
Ouff !! That is a difficult question! I have such fond memories of each of my seasons. Every single one was unique in its own way and each one individuallycontributed to me being the person I am today.
If I really have to pick just one, it would be winning the World Championships at home. It was a lifelong dream that became a reality! It was truly an intense moment, so intense that some parts are still blurry in my mind. One instance that is still so vivid is when my co-captain and I announced the results to our team. Their reactions when we ran into that room is something that will remain engraved in my memory forever.
To stand up on the highest platform of the podium was incredible. The most beautiful thing about it was to have accomplished this all together as a team, after the two last years. I have never seen a team show such resilience. We were all so grateful to be able to compete at home in front of all of our friends and family.
There are so many things that I carry with me in my everyday life. The sport, synchro, it is a school of life. The most beautiful kind there is.
Amongst other things, I take away with me that life will always be filled with challenges but it is the way that we face these, to roll up our sleeves and face it all head on, that makes all the difference. Most of all, I learned to never be afraid to dream big!
You have been a great captain in leading your team to the world title. What advice would you give to team captains everywhere in the world?
I was captain of the Senior team for 10 years. To be honest, if someone would have told me that I would do that earlier in my career…I probably would not have believed them haha! You must know that not too long ago, I was a very shy person. Being team captain and having this role was never something that would have crossed my mind.
At the start of my second Senior season, the team shifted when a lot of veterans had left. So, one of my teammates encouraged me to submit my name for the position of team captain. I believe that she saw something in me that I still did not even see in myself.
In the end, I have always thrived to be honourable in the role. I never tried to be someone I am not. I grew tremendously as a person in the role of a captain. I always tried my best, kept good intentions and I was always ready to listen.
To all my teammates, I say THANK YOU for putting your confidence in me. If only I could express the honour, it has been for me to represent you all. Big Love.
To all future captains, trust yourself and be yourself!
I completed my Bachelor’s degree in business in 2018. Over and above sharing my passion with young skaters, I worked at Bell Helicopter for 4 years in supply chain management. Since last October, I have taken on a new challenge as a planner at Cirque du Soleil.
As for my personal projects, I want to take the time to visit my parents and family more often as this is something I had less time for while I was training. I had the opportunity to travel a lot while I was competing and it definitely piqued an interest. I want to travel more as well as enjoy all the small wonders of life with those who mean everything to me.
Of course, one of my greatest projects would be to continue to grow as a coach. I love sharing my passion and I want to give back to this sport that has taught me so much.
The Les Suprêmes family is like my second family! I would dream of being a part of it.
Since the 2019-2020 season, my best friend and I are the coaches of the Pre-Juvenile team. The following season, which took place on Zoom because of the pandemic, we also started to coach the Juvenile team. Since, we have been the coaches of both teams. Since my retirement, I also work with the Junior team and I love it! Not only I can share my knowledge, experiences, and love for the sport, I also get to keep learning from the best: my former coaches.
Alongside all this, I will also be the #1 fan of my favourite Senior team.
What do you like about this new coaching experience?
What I like the most about this new role is being able to give back to the new and upcoming generation. I love to see them flourish on the ice, watch them grow and improve! Having skated up to the age of 28 years old, I feel like I was able to practice this sport with a much different level of maturity. I want to be a role model for these young skaters and guide them throughout their own career paths.
Once a Suprêmes, always a Suprêmes!!!!!!