The big challenge, Pierre Lavoie: “We have tired legs but a smile”

Pierre Lavoie was emotional and full of pride after completing the 1,000km bike ride of the 12th edition of the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie (GDPL), on Sunday, in Montreal.

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Like everything related to events, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPL) has not had it easy due to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years. It was also the first time since the arrival of the virus that the 1000 km race, one of the main events of the Grand Défi, could resume its normal activities, particularly the ceremonial arrival at the Olympic Stadium.

“We needed to go back and get together,” said Pierre Lavoye, after completing the GDPR. It was easy to tell yourself that I did enough or that it was time to move on. A lot of people have moved through COVID-19 and I think that’s a mistake. We have to start over.”

“Leaving is difficult. Finding volunteers, participants and funding is difficult. However, it had to be done, because we must ensure that COVID-19 has caused as little collateral damage as possible. It does not pass through meditation, but through action.

“I knew it would take twice as much effort as in previous years. We had to leave and witnessed one of the most beautiful events we have seen since 2009.”

Thanks to the volunteers

Pierre Lavoie wanted to highlight the vital participation of the 540 volunteers who made it possible to hold the 2022 version of the GDPR.

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“Those who came back, provided experience and our new volunteers were mentored by veterans. They were all fantastic and the foundation for the success of the Grand Challenge,” the 58-year-old said.

Now that the twelfth edition of the event, which aims to create a preventative health culture in Quebec by encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, is over, is Pierre Lavoie really thinking about next year?

“When I asked this question before the event, I answered that we needed to see if we were able to bring back the magic and brilliance in the participants’ eyes. We also had to see if we had too much damage on the organizational side. Then we make a decision.”

“I did not expect to see such a high level in terms of organization and participation. He concluded by saying, “We will definitely be back next year.”

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