Philibert-Thiboutot relieved of his financial worries

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot received his Christmas present earlier than expected.

The middle-distance runner and Rio 2016 Olympian has regained his Sports Canada funding card which Athletics Canada had stripped him of for the past two years, believing he lacked the potential to reach a final at the Games or world championship.

“It’s a big burden that falls off my shoulders, imagined Thiboutot. I’ve had to make sacrifices over the past few years and my sponsors New Balance and Premier Tech have kept my head above water. »

Despite good results last year, the Quebecer was unable to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

“Athletics Canada doubted my abilities. It was difficult to understand after the decision in 2021, but I decided to bet on myself and give it my all,” explained Philibert-Thiboutot.

In his preparation for the next big meetings, the runner will now have peace of mind.

“I will be able to prepare without financial worries for the next World Cup and the 2024 Games in Paris. In addition to the monthly salary of $1,700 which is not taxable, I will be entitled to a budget for expenses for competitions of $10,000 for the year. »

A decisive world

It was during the world championship presented last July in Eugene, Oregon, that the 1500 m specialist felt the wind turned.

« I was dominant in the preliminaries and only missed the final by 0:08 in a semi-final that some pundits said was the strongest heat in history, » he said. he explains. During the camp preceding the worlds, Athletics Canada also saw my professionalism and the seriousness of my preparation.

“They realized that I had a chance of qualifying for an Olympic final and they added me to the national team program,” added Philibert-Thiboutot. I don’t hold grudges and I prepare myself. »

In addition, his limited financial means put his health at risk.

« Last December, I had pain in one foot and I needed to fly to Vancouver to receive treatment from my physiotherapist, but I didn’t go because I couldn’t afford it, » he said. told. There would have been financial consequences if I had gone. Two weeks later I suffered a grade 3 calf tear. The lack of resources had a direct impact on my injury. »

In good position

The Félix-Antoine Lapointe protege saw a difference just a few weeks ago.

“I felt pain in one foot and immediately flew to Vancouver,” he said. That’s the difference it makes. When there is a glitch, you react quickly. I am now one hundred percent and I can train hard. »

With this financial support, Philibert-Thiboutot believes he finds himself in an excellent position.

“If I stay healthy, I’m in a good position to qualify for Paris. I occupy the 35e world rank and you have to finish in the top 55. It’s a change from 2021 where I started the selection process with no results in the bank. I felt like I was swimming against the tide. »


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