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Real Athlete: Figure Skater Stephane Vachon

RealJock Staff

Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.

After eight years of pursuing his dream of becoming a professional skater, Stephane Vachon (RealJock username: svonice) gave it all up at 17, bowing under the pressures of homophobia. At 36, he began skating competitively again and took the adult skating world by storm. Now 37, he’s the 2005 and 2006 Canadian Adult Champion and the 2005 World Adult Champion (he defends his title in June).

What is your fitness level?

How do you stay fit?
I train on the ice Monday through Friday at least one hour a day. I go to the gym from 1 to 3 times a week.

Do you play a sport? If yes, what and how long have you played?
Figure skating, I started skating at 9 years old. I quit competition at 17 and started again at 36 years old in 2005.

What's the highest level of sports that you've achieved? Are you out in your sport?
I am the Canadian Adult Champion 2005 and 2006. I am the World Adult Champion 2005. I am going to Oberstdorf, Germany, for the Adult World Championships from June 1-3, 2006.

Yes, I am out in my sport, I have my own website, to help me with fundraising money for the high cost of training and competition.

What celebrity / pro athlete do you most resemble?
I have been told a lot that I skate like Toler Cranston, who was our Canadian Champion in the 1970s. I was told that my style resembles his style, which is really flattering.

What sports and fitness goals have you achieved? What do you still want to accomplish? Why?
At 36 years old, I decided to take that little boy by the hand and give him the chance to fulfill his dream. After a few years of bitterness with my first love, I am finally back on my skates. Nothing makes me happier than being on the ice. That is already so much for me. I am going to the Adult World Championships in June and the World OUTGAMES in Montreal in July.

What inspires you to train? Who inspires you?
I finally allow myself to be who I want to be. Just myself. I am so happy that I can still live my dream at my age. Who inspires me? People that are not scared to come out and just be who they want to be without any shame.

What impact has sports and fitness had on your life?
Taking care of my body helps me feel good spiritually. There is nothing better than feeling sore after a good training session.

What three words best capture your essence?
Sensitive. Persistent. Hard working.

What do you do in terms of diet, vitamins, nutrition and supplements to maintain your health?
Natural food like fruits and veggies plus proteins.

What's your best health and fitness secret?
No drugs or alcohol or late parties in bars. I have a normal and consistent routine.