Lauriane Rougeau reaches her goal at Sochi

Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson
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Being the father of an Olympian is very stressful, but is also tremendously exciting, Beaconsfield resident Pierre Rougeau, said in a long-distance phone call from Russia, His daughter, Lauriane Rougeau is playing in her first Olympic Games as a member of Canada's National women's team, and her family flew over to join the 23-year-old student in Sochi.

“She started playing hockey at six years old," Rougeau said. He recalls that Lauriane started skating at three, with figure skating lessons, but decided to give it up. “She began with figure skating, at three. A Saturday morning, three years later, she started crying while I was driving her to the arena: she didn’t want to go anymore. I told her that she had to play sports and couldn’t just sit around at home. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she told me she wanted to play hockey!”

A determined athlete

“It’s her determination that brought her here. She’s a very serious girl. There was no plan B for her. That’s what she wanted out of life. Besides, one of her coaches had told her that she could either have dreams or goals,” her father stressed.

For Lauriane, hockey was not a dream that was to remain unattainable. She surpassed herself and hockey itself became the goal -- a goal she reached with years of preparation, hard work and determination.

“It took a lot of work and commitment to get here. At first, we never thought that our kid would go to the Olympics. Above all, I think that what’s most important is that the game remains fun for kids,” he says.

A pleased coach

Dan D’Astoli, who used to coach Lauriane when she lived in Beaconsfield, has only praises for the athlete. “As a person, she is marvellous. She’s strong, but not just in hockey: in all aspects of life. And that reflects in her attitude and in her studies as well,” he said, adding that Rougeau set herself apart through her abilities at an early age.

“When Lauriane played at Lakeshore [in Kirkland], there weren’t a lot of girls that played with the boys. Her sense of the game and her intelligence on the ice allowed her to play well against great Quebec players,” he says.

Geographic location: Beaconsfield, Quebec

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