Michaël Bournival has always been determined on the ice during his career. The former Canada and Tampa Bay Lightning forward just proved that he, too, could be on the school bench.
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The now 30-year-old received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology on Thursday at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR) convocation.
As a bonus, he received the silver medal from the Governor General of Canada thanks to his excellent grade of 4.27.
“This medal represents my personality, mentioned Michaël Bournival when contacted by The newspaper. To be successful in life, you must be passionate about what drives you.
“It also represents my determination. Finishing high school after eight years of absence having my family is a feat for me. I am very proud to have achieved this. With the medal, I have even more pride. »
He is not able to find a comparison with his achievements during his career as an athlete.
“It’s something that separates me from hockey,” Bournival said. I am recognized for something else and that makes me very proud.
“It’s a side of my personality that young people don’t know about. It could be an inspiration to them or to parents who want to go back to school. If I can touch just one person, all the better.”
Photo courtesy, UQTR
Michaël Bournival has evolved with the Syracuse Crunch, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Canadian. After his studies, he assumed the direction of the UQTR where his hard work allowed him yesterday to obtain his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, which he proudly received from the hands of the institution’s rector, Christian Blanchette.
Abrupt end of the race.
Bournival’s career path has been plagued with obstacles. In her final four seasons, she struggled with concussion symptoms and a bad shoulder condition.
“I wasn’t feeling too good,” Bournival said. My head ached. He was stunned. I was also very tired.
“These are years of sacrifice to reach the top. I clung to my dream. »
The Quebecer has realized the obvious. He couldn’t go any further.
“It was very difficult to make that decision. My last season coincided with my shoulder operation and the birth of my daughter. At that time, I really thought about my health and my future. »
He has no sequelae from the concussions sustained during his career.
“I did not expect to return to a normal state. I thought that this was the new me. It is my greatest wealth today. »
A four-year process
Bournival didn’t hang up his skates on a whim. It is the culmination of a reflection that lasted four years. He enrolled in college during his last campaign.
“It was always my plan to go back to school, no matter what career I was going to have. In junior, we often talked about having a plan B. I took that advice very seriously. »
A lifelong fitness enthusiast, Bournival quickly made it his area of study.
“I didn’t want to train players only with my experiences as an athlete. He wanted to have content behind what he was teaching. My high school made me understand many things. It was really rewarding.
“Coaching has always been a second passion for me. It was not a task to go to the gym. Going back to school helped my transition to my later career. »
File photo, Martin Chevalier
a necessary break
Bournival did not see a hockey game for the first two years of his retirement. He needed to take a break from the sport he had been practicing since he was three years old.
“I wanted to discover myself as a person. I wanted to do new things. I’m really at peace with it now. I am starting to love my sport again. »
His final seasons in professional hockey were synonymous with pain and frustration.
“When you’re in pain, it’s hard to have fun. I got on the court, but I didn’t know how I was going to feel after the match or when I was going to get up the next day.
“I did not experience pleasure because my quality of life decreased. »
back on the ice
Bournival hung up his skates in 2019. He hasn’t played a game since that day.
He returned to the ice this year, but as a physical trainer for the UQTR Patriots men’s team.
“I was independent in my training plans, explained the one who played 89 games with the Habs. Jean-François Brunelle gave me carte blanche.
“It allowed me to experiment and put my ideas in place. »
He went out on the ice with the players weekly.
“I wanted to do the conditioning on the ice instead of going to the gym. I wanted the exercises to be more specific to our sport. »
Bournival is not done with school. He is in the process of doing his master’s degree to further his knowledge.
“I work with the UQTR Hockey Laboratory. It brought me the critical scientific side. With my experience as an athlete and the theoretical part with my high school, it will give me the necessary tools to help athletes in the region achieve their dreams. »
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