Marie-Laurence Lortie returns from Italy
Great sporting achievements are not always those that end in the euphoria of victory. Participating in the last event of the season at the FINA Open Water Long Distance Swimming Circuit in Italy, Marie-Laurence Lortie’s 9th place was gold in the race between Capri and Naples. The young swimmer from Kingsey Falls has demonstrated an unusual strength of character to complete the 36-kilometer offshore competition.
The’re misadventures Lortie began around the 10th kilometer when she was suffering from nausea. To make matters worse, two kilometers further, her guide boat breaks down and Marie-Laurence Lortie must continue without refueling and without a coach to properly inform and direct her into the water.
No question of giving up even if Marie-Laurence Lortie felt weaker and weaker, vomiting several times between kilometers 15 and 20. Fortunately for her, her coach was able to join her in another boat to give her hope and strength by hydrating it every 10 minutes.
As the sun begins to glow for the 24-year-old athlete, another tile falls on her head and as unlikely as it may seem, her boat still breaks down in the Bay of Naples. The same fight resumes for Marie-Laurence Lortie who must again do without his coach and advance without refueling. It is a spectator, sent in reinforcement, who then takes over and makes sure to accompany him until the arrival.
As many obstacles have demoralized more than one, especially since difficulties in terms of accommodation have added to the challenge. Not Marie-Laurence Lortie, who finally made landfall after 8:37:59 of sustained effort and self-sacrifice.
In the cumulative ranking of the season, Lortie finishes seventh on the world stage. “Finishing seventh in my first full season on the circuit delighted me. I would have liked it to be different in Italy, especially since I had a very good start that kept me in the top five. Abandoning a marathon is not an option for me. But here I had serious doubts. Finally, my head got the upper hand on my body. I still have 81 kilometers of swimming in the last 15 days plus a hundred in training. In long-distance swimming, personal victories are often the ones that give us the most pride and the desire to persevere, “said Marie-Laurence Lortie.
His coach Jocelyn McCann at the Drummondville Sharks was raving about his protégé. “Marie-Laurence never looks back. She is always on course. After Lac Saint-Jean, tendinitis appeared on his right forearm. She underwent multiple treatments. His strength of character and his positive attitude compensated. It is a model for the youngest members of our club. ”
Twenty years ago, Natalie Lortie’s mother, Nathalie Patenaude, took the start of the Capri-Naples race. “She is now the fastest in the family. She took about thirty seconds less than me to complete the distance. We are similar in some respects. I go back to my memories as a swimmer when I see his character and the determination that drives him. It never stops at the first obstacle. She is always looking for a solution, “says Nathalie Patenaude, who has participated in the Lake Memphremagog International Traversée a few times during her career.
Moreover, when it comes to inspiration, Marie-Laurence Lortie does not need to think and look long. His mother who had IgA glomerulonephritis, or if you prefer Berger’s disease, had a kidney transplant earlier this year. With kidneys that were only seven percent functioning, Nathalie Patenaude fought for three years and after 4240 dialysis to stay upright, refusing to let go despite the disease that condemned her to die without a transplant.
“I do not know if she had any pictures of me when she felt a bit lonely and weak in her last competition in Italy. I know she is proud of me. Do you believe me if I tell you it’s mutual, “says Nathalie Patenaude.
Marie-Laurence Lortie and Nathalie Patenaude add value to the old adage that the apple never falls away from the apple tree.