Super athlete Carolyne Prevost conquers another sport

Carolyne Prevost celebrates with the Canadian flag following her CrossFit Games performance at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin on Aug. 1. Photo Credit: Mikey Stevenson – Mikey Stevenson Photography

Troy Shantz

Carolyne Prevost is making a serious bid for the title of best all-round athlete Sarnia has ever produced.

Prevost finished first among Canadians at the recent CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, and placed #13 overall in the world.

“Just qualifying for the CrossFit Games is a huge accomplishment and something that is so hard to achieve in itself,” Prevost, 29, told The Journal.

“Finishing 13th in the world exceeded my expectations and it is definitely something I am very proud of.”

But the games, a venue designed to recognize the fittest men and women on earth, is just the latest accomplishment for the Saint-François-Xavier School grad.

As a teen, she competed at the Canadian junior national level in three sports — soccer, taekwondo and hockey. (She once played against Steven Stamkos in a Silverstick hockey tournament.)

She has, incredibly, won 11 national championships in four different sports, and plays soccer for a women’s premier team in Toronto.

Carolyne Prevost competes at the CrossFit Games, held in Madison Wisconsin this summer. Photo Credit: Mikey Stevenson – Mikey Stevenson Photography

Until recently she was a forward with the Toronto Furies in the defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), and is now part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Association – which is attempting to jump-start a new league with better pay for players.

“Being a female athlete, I don’t get to have a professional career like male counterparts. I think that fighting for that is very important,” said Prevost, who attended the University of Wisconsin.

She earned the trip to the four-day CrossFit Games after finishing top 20 at open qualifiers, emerging from a pack of more than 140,000 female athletes around the world.

CrossFit competitions showcase a wide range of punishing tests in strength, endurance, agility and flexibility.

Athletes don’t know what those events will be until hours before the start, and almost anything can be expected, said Prevost, who teaches math, science and physical education at a French public high school in Toronto.

Her strength was tested at the games by legless rope climbs, 130-pound barbell snatches, and a six-kilometre ruck-run, in which athletes ran laps with a 20-pound backpack, adding 10-pounds every 1,500 metres.

“You’re preparing for the unknown,” Prevost said. “There will always be different tests so you’re not training for a specific test. You’re training all year round for anything that could pop up.”

Unlike traditional sports, CrossFit celebrates overall fitness.

Participants earn a score at each event and those with the highest total are crowned champs.

“The one thing about CrossFit that I love is (the) prizes and money are always even between guys and girls, and that can’t be said for a lot of sports.”

Participating in CrossFit, playing professional hockey and teaching high school is not unlike having three jobs, Prevost said.

And the 5-foot-3 and 144 pound athlete trains as much as four hours daily.

“It’s been sports my whole life. If I’m not playing sports I’m watching sports,” she said.

“And I’m in the best shape of my life.”