Name: Joelle Bekhazi
CAN Fund Recipient Since: 2006
Sport: Water Polo
2nd at the 2009 World Aquatic Championship
2nd at the Pan American Games (2007, 2011, 2015)
Hometown: Pointe-Claire, QC
Horoscope Sign: Taurus
On The National Team Since: 2005
How does being a CAN Fund Recipient make a difference for you?
CAN Fund is allowing me to really focus on achieving my all-time dream of becoming an Olympian, especially after two heartbreaks of not qualifying in 2008 and 2012. I am not able to get a job or go to school due to the number of hours we spend training on our road to Rio 2016.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I began my water polo career at the community outdoor pools of the West Island and participated in the summer league for a few years before joining DDO Water Polo in 2001. I have been playing competitive water polo since the age of 13.
What is the best part about representing Canada?
Looking up in the stands during big tournaments and seeing fans waving and holding up a Canadian flag. Knowing your entire country is behind you and supporting you on your journey. There is no prouder moment than having Canada written across your chest, knowing you’re not representing yourself but you’re representing your country.
Who is your hero and why?
Cora Campbell. When I first saw Cora at a summer water polo clinic for young players, I knew I wanted to be like her. Water Polo Magazine named her the best player in the world in 1999 and she represented Canada at the first Olympic Games for women’s water polo in 2000.
What is one thing you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
How to balance being a student and an athlete. Being a professional athlete and a full-time student is not an easy task. But I found a way to do both.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions or routines?
Concentration and relaxation. All personal affairs are completely blocked. Everything must be in order in preparation for a tournament. It is very important not to have distractions that can be avoided. When we arrive to competition, our first stop is the pool in order to become familiar with our environment. Once game day hits, we know exactly what to expect and are ready to play. My college coach used to always say: “It’s always better to be over prepared than to underachieve.”
What is your pre-game meal?
3 hours before a game I eat chicken and pasta with tomato sauce and a house salad with balsamic dressing.
What is in your refrigerator right now?
Homemade lasagna, boost protein drinks, a lot of fruit and vegetables, homemade broccoli soup, soy milk, eggs and bread.
What are your words to live by or your motto?
In everyday life, treat people the way you want to be treated.
What do you value most in your friends?
Their loyalty and constant support.
What advice would you give to young kids or teenagers about following their dreams?
Never be afraid to take risks in life and never stop dreaming.
If you weren’t a Canadian athlete you would be?
A family doctor
What is your favourite thing about being on the road with your teammates?
Traveling to so many exciting places you wouldn’t get a chance to visit.
What are you favourite places in the world you have visited?
Australia (Perth, Syndey, Melbourne), New Zealand (Christchurch and Aukland), Italy (Rome, Trieste)
If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you take with you?
Running shoes, tooth brush and a bathing suit
What are your hobbies?
Spending time with my friends and family, travelling and reading.
What is your favourite quote?
Losers let things happen; winners make things happen.
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite book?
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
What is your favourite tv series?
Facebook Fan Page: Joelle Bekhazi