Alexandre leaped over adversity for ConU

Concordia high jumper Peter Alexandre almost missed out on being the QSSF high jump champion this year.
The 22-year-old, 6’1″, engineering student has had a topsy-turvy year of university competition.
A back injury prevented the Longueil resident from competing until the QSSF championships. He missed out on all the regular season events. Normally an athletes can not participate in the QSSF championship without competing in the
regular season. Luckily, Alexandre got special permission from a doctor to compete. The Concordia athlete placed first in the competition with a jump of 2.08m.
Nationals weren’t as successful for Alexandre. Last year, he came in third place. This year, he says he made a couple of mistakes.
“I didn’t have the energy to jump.”
Alexandre had a huge pasta and meatball lunch one hour before the competition.
“I realized that I have to get ready better. Normally I do 2.10 easily and I wanted to be in the 2.15 range.”
His jump was 2.00 m and the gold medal was given to a jump of 2.09 m.
Alexandre’s best jump is 2.16 set in 1997 at a competition in Hanover, New Hampshire.
But for Alexandre, track isn’t his primary concern. His concern is his education.
“I realized after a previous injury that track can be very easy to lose and so I decided to cut down on track and field and work on my education.”
Alexandre chose Concordia because it is an English school. He likes to travel a
lot and as a French student, he knew it was better if he was more fluent in English.
“I didn’t even know that they had a track team at Concordia.”
His love for travelling came from track.
“I wouldn’t even get a chance to travel if not for track and field.”
In the past he’s been to competitions in Europe, Africa and the United States.
The Canadian and Quebec governments pay his travel expenses for these competitions.
This summer he won’t be returning to Africa but he will still get the chance to leave Montreal. He will be going to Ottawa for the Francophonie games, London (Ontario) for the Canada games and Edmonton for the Canadian Championships.
If Alexandre falls under the top eight at the Canadian Championships he will join the Canadian team, at the end of the summer, to attend the World University Games in Beijing, China. The games are the most for Alexandre to compete in this summer and he says that it is something very attainable.
“If I can stay healthy and injury free and with a little training, it could go very well.”
Alexandre says he is looking forward to all the games. The Canada games will allow him to see other athletes and it allows young athletes like him to go on to the next level.
“You get to meet other top level athletes. You also get to know that you’re not the only one who is struggling in Canada.”
The struggle he feels as an athlete in Canada is equally felt at Concordia.
“If you succeed at Concordia it is not because of the school, it is because of the sport.”
He refers to the budget of teams such as the men’s basketball team who also happens to receive free shoes. He says that in track they have to pay for everything. For track, a different pair of shoes at $200 a piece is needed for each event. If a person competes in three events, the bill starts to add up.
This is not including the training sneakers that have to be replaced every six months. Alexandre does admit that track does not produce any income, especially when you have to travel to every meet and when there are no Concordia spectators.
What Alexandre would really like to see is a track at Concordia. Right now the Concordia team trains at McGill’s field house. Alexandre trains at the Claude Robillard center with his own coach and his own track and field club. He says a track at Concordia will bring more people to Concordia.
Not just track athletes but other athletes from different sports and regular people who just like to train. He says you could also put tennis courts in the middle of the track.
Most of Alexandre’s friends and track athletes attend Sherbrooke or McGill if they want to pursue track, limiting their choices of education he says. He even knows fellow athletes who stopped training even though they attend Concordia.
While the visibility of the team is the ideal for Alexandre, he would at least like to have a part time athletic therapist. After suffering the back injury this winter Alexandre had trouble getting time to be treated at the Concordia athletic therapy clinic. A service that is provided to every Concordia athlete,
Alexandre felt that he didn’t get the proper attention he deserved. He ended up
going to a clinic outside of school and paying for the treatments.
Because of this injury he only competed in high jump events this winter. He would like to add the 60m dash and long jump for the summer and in time the 100m.
Alexander also says that gaining a spot on the Canadian team is something that might come along in the future. But for now he is just trying to keep up with his engineering courses.

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