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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

LUCILLE LESSARD

Inducted in 1977

Member Details

Date of Birth: May 26, 1957
Place of Birth: Quebec City, Quebec
Sport: Archery
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1974, 75, 80

Canadian champion - target (outdoor) and field archery

1974

World champion - field archery

1975, 76

Canadian indoor championship

Honoured Member LUCILLE LESSARD
Inspire

Story

Archer Lucille Lessard faced many a taunt from male colleagues, but she found the best way to overcome them was to keep competing and keep winning. She was introduced to archery by a high school teacher, Leonard Brisson, who just happened to be a national team coach. As a 15-year-old, she won her first national championship in 1972 as a junior in field archery, placing second in the outdoor target event. A year later, she added the target outdoor junior national championship to her trophy case. But 1974 was Lessard's breakout year. She won her first of three consecutive indoor national titles and at the Canadian championships claimed first place at the senior level, despite being just 17, in both the target outdoor and field events. Lessard travelled to Zagreb in the former Yugoslavia to compete in the world field archery championships, where rather than shooting from flat ground at targets with a known distance competitors faced targets at unknown distances on varied terrain. Lessard excelled in these conditions and became Canada's first-ever field archery world champion. She capped the year by being named Quebec's athlete of 1974 and winning the Elaine Tanner Award as Canada's junior female athlete of the year. In 1975, Lessard duplicated her double from the year before, winning both the target outdoor and field events. Though she placed seventh in the 1975 world target championships, she headed into 1976 optimistic about her chances as Montreal prepared to host Canada's first-ever Summer Olympic Games. Lessard's competitive season, however, was a disappointing one. She finished second at the 1976 Canadian championships in both the target outdoor and field events behind Quebec's other arching Lucille, Lucille Lemay. Worse, at the Canadian Olympic trials Lessard failed to qualify for the team heading to Montreal. Despite this disappointment, Lessard was rewarded for her considerable national and international success with induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1977. But her Olympic dream was not over. In August 1980, she returned to the Canadian championships and again won both the field and target events. More importantly, three months earlier, she had competed at the Olympic trials, placing second behind Lucille Lemay, but earning a spot on Canada's 1980 Olympic archery team. Sadly, politics intervened and Canada's boycott of the Moscow Games prevented Lessard from firing Olympic arrows.


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