Although the London Olympics won't happen until 2012, one of the faces that you should definitely keep an eye on to go for gold is 23-year-old weightlifter Marilou Dozois-Prévost.
Those who read Part One of my interview with this sensational athlete learned about Prévost, the weightlifter. We got to know what made her tick on the floor and how she kept focus in her sport.
Now, we'll get to know more of Marilou as a young, engaged college student who's looking at a bright future not only in her sport, but in her life following the Games.
When you read Prévost's answers, you'll see that she not only passed "The Tiongson Twelve Test," but that she obliterated it with grace and a lot of fun!
Conducting some interviews in the past four years, I have been delighted to mingle with such figures like renowned ESPN personality Mike Massaro. Now I can add an Olympic-class athlete such as Prévost to the list who I can proudly call a long-distance friend in the sports community.
Interviewing Marilou was like talking to a good friend, reflecting on the good times from the past and what is to be with the future.
When I wanted to get the formal and all-games side to Marilou, I certainly got it. Away from the platform and gym, I met a pretty hip and cool customer in Prévost.
You have to admire her determination to succeed in everything she does. Even the college student in Marilou tries her earnest to do her very best.
That speaks volumes about the kind of hunger and drive in Marilou, which is bound to carry her very far in life with happiness.
As far as she goes as a regular 23-year-old hailing from the Quebec province of Canada, she's courteous, fun-loving, thoughtful, and down-to-earth.
You can only wish her the best of luck and certainly, we'll see a lot of Prévost in the coming years before the 2012 Games.
I would like to thank Marilou for taking the time from her hectic schedule to do this wonderful interview—I certainly hope all of you enjoy getting to fully know Marilou Dozois-Prévost!
Or as I should say, merci mon amie! Apprécier!
Rob Tiongson: Do you plan to continue competing in the future with weightlifting? You seem to have that desire to go out there and prove something to everyone watching you in the spotlight.
Marilou Dozois-Prévost: I thrive for competition. There is nothing in the world I enjoy doing more. As long as I am able to compete, I will do it.
I don't know if it's about proving something to everyone, but it sure is about proving to myself that I can get on the platform and be able to perform just as well as the other champions out there. I don't feel like I am there yet, though.
I might have ranked 10th in Beijing, but to me, it's not an exploit or anything worth resting on.
Every day, I feel like I am one step closer to my goal and I have to believe that the last step will lead me to the podium in London.
RT: Away from the arena, what do you enjoy doing for fun? I'm sure you must go, "I want to have time to just be a 23 year old!"
MD-P: Definitely, spending quality time with my fiancé, my family, and my friends is what I prefer.
I don't get to do it as much as I want to, because there are times when I am not allowed to eat what I want—not even a glass of wine, so social opportunities can get a bit stressful.
There are other times when I am just plain tired, and the thought of going out of the house seems like an impossible mission. Also, I can rarely practice another sport, even just for fun, because I fear that I could get injured.
Even walking for long distances hurt my body and the training after. During those periods, I am more of an indoor person.
I watch movies with my fiance, I take care of my little cats, I decorate my home. To most people, it might sound like a terrible life, but it's not always like that.
Sometimes, my training is not as specific when I'm not in a competitive period, so I get to hang around with my friends and family a lot more. It's not all bad to be disciplined because It makes me realize how important these moments shared with my loved ones are to me.
RT: Earlier, you mentioned how you got into the sport and about your transition from gymnastics to weightlifting. There's the oft-stereotyped remark that, "Yea, but it's a men's sport..." what do you have to say to those people?
MD-P: I say that sports in general are associated with men, because women in general are not fond of sweating and pushing their bodies to the limit. I don't think it's genetic, but I think that society tells us that it's not how were supposed to behave if we want to please others.
However, I really think that there is an athlete hidden in everyone. Once a woman starts loving the feeling of practicing a sport at a high intensity, it doesn't matter what the sport, it takes the same mental abilities.
Gymnasts have the same attitude when they perform their routine as a weightlifters do when they perform their lifts.
If weightlifting is associated with men because of the muscular component, I think it can also be associated with women because of the beauty and precision of the technique it requires. My sport has no gender. It all depends on who's looking at it.
RT: Free Association time...get ready, Marilou! Here goes...success.
MD-P: First step of a podium.
MD-P: In French we say, "Un mal nécéssaire," which means a painful necessity.
RT: Proudest Moment in your athletic career.
MD-P: Stepping on the platform in Beijing.
RT: Favorite Music.
MD-P: Old rock! And pretty much everything that has a nice beat, so that I can listen to it in training.
MD-P: Two things came to my mind simultaneously. First, scary obstacles created by our mind. Second, spiders!
RT: Best movie of all time.
MD-P: There are too many...Can I say my best TV show instead? House M.D.! It's just great and I never get tired of it.
RT: Life in general...
MD-P: Something we have to take great care of and enjoy as much as we can. You never know when it's gone.
RT: When you do walk away from the sport, where do you see yourself in say 10 years?
MD-P: That's a difficult one. I am currently studying in psychology, but I have no idea of what I want to do later.
I know that I want to be married, have kids and have a pretty little house. I really want a happy family and I know I already found the man of my life, so what could go wrong? Time will tell what field of work I will be doing.
RT: Lastly, be it as we are college students, I have to ask you, how are classes going? Is your semester nearly done? Perhaps we could trade spots and you could become a Comm Arts student instead!
MD-P: Yes, my semester is done! I really admire what you do, but I could never go to school all year-round, so I have to say no to trading spots! Haha!
Seriously, I am amazed. Maybe it's because school is not my priority, but I am always so excited when it's over. Well, it is a priority, it's just that it doesn't come first. There is my sport, and then, with whatever energy and time I have left, there is school.
I usually manage to get good grades, especially considering the small amount of time I put in studying, but I never get great grades.
I'm pretty sure I could if I really wanted to, but I am not there just yet. Maybe in a few years, when I've accomplish as much as I can in the sport.