Jean-Michel Lavallière announced his retirement from competitive Para swimming earlier this year on a high note.
In the last race of his career at the Commonwealth Games in April, Lavallière lowered the Canadian record in the S7 50m freestyle by almost a second, clocking 30.14 seconds to place fourth in the event.
“I ticked several boxes of my goals, including taking part in major multi-sport events,’’ said Lavallière.
‘’Whether it was at the Rio Paralympics in which I had the chance to compete in the last event of the Games in front of 15,000 fans; the Parapan Am Games in front of a hometown crowd in Toronto (where he won six silver medals) or the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Lavallière, born with a hemiparesis on his left side, his arm, his leg and his abdominal muscles, ended his national team career with 11 Canadian records in the S7 category.
His marks are in the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley, and as a member of the 4X100 freestyle relay and 4X100 medley relay.
That is just in the long course pool. He holds another 10 national marks in the short course pool.
“Practicing my sport allowed me to better know my body, to master it, and to enjoy all that life brought me. I have also developed a network of contacts around the world that allowed me to travel,” he said.
Lavallière, 27, plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology this fall. He would like to devote his professional career to the sport community. He was already involved in events in the Montreal area this summer.