volleyball | Vicki Savard, from Instagram to Worlds

(Montreal) Having toured across Europe in recent years, volleyball player Vicky Savard has finally had the chance to shine in the Canadian jersey. A dream began to fade, until videos of her performance caught the eye on Instagram.

Posted at 2:46 pm

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The 29-year-old athlete had been hoping for a call-up to the national team for a long time and it was in an unusual place until it finally paid off.

At the end of the summer of 2021, Savard participated in a tournament with the Quebec team near Levis. Present at the event Veronic Laplante, assistant coach of the McGill University volleyball team, took the opportunity to take various videos and post them on social media.

A little later, the phone rang. “Shannon Winzer, the national team coach, called Veronique (Laplante) to get acquainted with me. She wanted to know if I wanted to participate in the team camps,” Savard, who did not miss the opportunity to show off his skills, said.

“A few steps later, I was on the plane to Vancouver to take part in a camp. I went there on my own. I could not refuse this opportunity.”

After participating in the NORCECA tournament at the end of August 2021, where she helped the Canadian team win the bronze medal, she remained in the team fold and finds herself today in the Volleyball World Championships, which are held in the Netherlands and Poland.

“I made a lot of sacrifices during my career and it was a long time before I reached my goal. I am really in the right place at the moment to represent Canada and I think I am absolutely on my X,” continues the person who has used her experience gained in European clubs to make her a place in the team Maple Leaf.

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“At first, I was a bit of the new kid on the block, but starting this year everyone got to know each other and I think I have a natural leadership role,” she points out. I don’t have the international experience of young players, but this will be my seventh season in Europe. These are different experiences, but very important. »

Short and long term goals

Canada did not find a way to achieve victory in its first two World Championship matches. He lost in three sets to Serbia before he met the same fate the next day against the Americans. The players knew that the rankings were heavy for these two matches and were not let down by these setbacks against two world powers.

“It’s definitely not the expected start of the tournament. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy for Serbia and USA and we still wanted to try to steal sets. It’s not the end of the world, but it was fun to find more. At least there was some improvement between the two games,” Savard explained.

Canada rebounded well from those two losses, beating Kazakhstan on Thursday and Bulgaria on Friday. The Germans will be the last opponents of the Canadians before the second round.

The top four teams from each group will advance to the next round. With the last two victories, the Canadians secured their ticket to the second stage which will begin on October 4.

If the second round is a short-term goal for Vicky Savard, Kim Ropitel and the Canadian team, then the long-term goal will still be the Olympics in Paris in 2024. Canada will have to pawn well over the next two years in order to participate in the next Olympic tournament, which will be the first time since the Games Atlanta in 1996.

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“It has been a long time since Canada participated in the Olympic Women’s Volleyball Games. It will be a long road, but it is not at all unrealistic. We will have to play well and achieve good results in the coming months to secure our place in Paris in a couple of years.”

Until then, Vicki Savard intends to take advantage of every moment of this unexpected stay. She still finds it difficult to realize everything that is happening to her.

“At first, I had to push myself. It’s a major tournament. There’s hardly anything bigger than a world championship in our sport. Not long ago I was sitting in my living room watching these girls at the Olympics, and now I’m part of Game. It’s big, too big for me! » Vicky Savard rejoices.

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