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LYSANNE RICHARD: Diving for Good Causes

ALMA — For a few minutes, the time that high-flying diver Lysanne Richard settled on the platform of a construction nacelle raised 22 meters above the waters of the Baie de la Dame-en-Terre, in Alma, the festive beach had became silent.

After receiving the green light from the divers making sure everything was safe and waving to the crowd, the tiny athlete swung forward for a double forward jump with a twist and a half. A brief moment when everyone held their breath, avoiding blinking so as not to miss the performance.

As soon as she emerged from the water with a big smile, thunderous applause greeted her achievement, while others wiped away a few tears of emotion. The palpable tension was released suddenly before the happy ending.

For the high-flying diving specialist, this dive in front of the public in her native region was a first.

Because in addition to the usual procession of photographers, drones, representatives of her business partners and her support team, which ensures that everything happens safely, hundreds of spectators had gathered on the beach or on boats to attend this premiere. Her two youngest children, Eli and Flavie, were also present to see their mother jump off the platform.

"It's true that I'm more nervous when I have relatives who are there," she admitted before going to the platform. “A large group stresses me out less than some relatives! »

Surrounded by admirers as soon as she stepped out onto the beach, she said everything went well and the conditions were ideal.

“It's fun because the beach is formed like an amphitheater, and everyone can see without any problem. »

— Lysanne Richard, high-flying diver

The diver was able to execute her jump very close to the public, since the beach descends steeply.

For Lysanne Richard, the fact of joining forces with the young Lac-Saint-Jean based company Solem, specializing in the sale of suede microfiber towels, appealed to her because, like her, the two co-owners, Marie-Hélène Doucet and Mylène Lessard, were not afraid to dive together into the sometimes vertiginous ocean of business to carry out their project.

In addition, it was in Alma that she made her diving debut. It was like killing two birds with one stone.

But also, she emphasizes that she wanted to find a Quebec company operating in the field of towels. “I have three needs [in diving]: wetsuits, swimsuits and towels. I was looking forward to finding the right partners in this field. The product is super nice and when we communicated with each other the girls were awesome. What a terrific collaboration this has turned out to be!»

Moreover, the native diver from Saguenay was also entitled to a prestigious towel bearing her image.

Made from a photo where she dives in Switzerland, we can also read the title of her biography, Always higher , which she enhanced by adding “With passion. To feel alive”. The athlete also hopes that this leitmotif will inspire people who will acquire it.

MORE CAUSES… 

Speaking of plans, there is no shortage of them for the high-flying diver who, just ten days ago, broke a Canadian women's record by diving from a 26-meter boom lift platform. It happened in Cap-à-l'Aigle, in the Charlevoix region, there too in favor of a good cause. 

“When you get into a creative mindset, there are so many incredible possibilities. It's as if life was telling me that to prioritize projects instead of competitions was the right choice to make. Relaying a message for a cause resembles me more and speaks to me more. Just like the record (at the beginning of July), which was to highlight the cause of the Croisière des Alizés, an organization that helps young girls who have experienced eating disorders and restores their confidence, among other things, through sailing.

“I want to associate myself with causes because a high-flying dive is like a mini-show. It evokes emotions and attracts attention. It can convey many messages, and doing it with Solem is great. This is the message that the girls have embarked on in business, and teamwork is a value that touches me. And for me, meeting people from here is something that touches me a lot, ”recalls the one who dreams of a tour in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.

“More over, what is special for me today is that I am in front of an audience, in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. When we took the plunge into the fjord [at Tableau, in September 2020], there were no spectators… Maybe next year! “, she says, her eyes sparkling.

… AND FEWER COMPETITIONS

For the moment, the Saguenéenne of origin is devoting herself to her many spectacular projects.

In addition to the dive from a hot air balloon in flight as part of the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in August, she always has in mind a dive from a helicopter.

Three somersaults performed in recent months have been submitted to the organization of the Guinness Book of World Records , and answers are expected shortly. In the case of the first dive performed in synchronism with Yves Milord from the platform of the Olympic Park Sports Center in Montreal, the request had to be reformulated.

"But for the one in March, we are very optimistic and we should receive the answer soon," she said of her dive with Yves Milord from a 22-meter platform in a hole drilled in the ice of an old water-filled quarry in the Thetford region.

As for the project of national high-flying diving competitions from the Tableau site, near Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, it is still on as planned. Pierre Lavoie and his team's project received the support of Diving Canada, and the site passed the test with flying colors last September. But like many things, the pandemic has prompted the project to be postponed until next year.

As for her return to the international competition circuit, she is allowing herself time.

"I'm not in a rush to decide. I'm glad my door is still open. I might go there from time to time, but I will surely not do more years as a regular diver. »

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