Guillaume Tétreault water skier : From humble beginnings to world class! (by Daniel Tétreault)


Aquatic sports are clearly a part of the family story!  The grandfather, Ghislain (a.k.a. Toutou), a lover of free style swimming, purchased a boat while his children were very young. They all put on water skis during their early childhood. Among the children, Michel and Daniel (Guillaume's father) dreamt of entering competitions. However, their geographical location in northern Quebec, the unavailability of a coach, and the lack of information, ended up causing their dream to fizzle. Yet, they kept at it over the years just for fun. Slalom, pyramids of 5 skiers, barefoot skiing, all were part of nice summer days.  

The tradition was continued by Michel's children. Geneviève and Amélie were initiated very early into the sport.  Daniel's children followed a few years later. Guillaume and Charles started off with skis in a few inches of water, being towed by their father as the motorboat. In the ensuing years, Guillaume, always bounding with energy (yes, a very active child), would often insist on getting a turn on the skis.  His passion grew into a heated progress in a short time. But the situation had not changed for this little-known sport in the region. The difficulty in getting information and strategies for cementing his progress in the sport were clearly obstacles to be overcome. There were no water ski competitions in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and nobody practiced the sport at a competitive level.  

The arrival of the Quebec Games of the Amos Region in 2005 was clearly the launching pad of a sports career for Guillaume.  To make this happen, a representative of  the water skiing federation came to explain the basics of this discipline.  Nothing more was needed for Guillaume to get into training for the provincial finals in 2005. His efforts were rewarded with a silver medal in the combined event. The importance of these Games cannot be underestimated for the people who lived in areas that did not have the advantages of infrastructure, the coaching, and the information available in urban centers. The import of these Games for Guillaume's career cannot remain unnoticed.

The sequel

Progress continued! Life changed quickly with access to information. And, yes, the internet eliminates distances. To be found now were videos, strategies, tricks, training. Daniel, Guillaume's father started to study the videos in depth. And so, he could now coach his son. This approach, admittedly rather original, allowed Guillaume to climb the ladder. Thus, father and son are constantly together, both fired up with passion and the desire to compete on the world stage, even though they were from and still lived in Abitibi-Témiscamingue!  

Guillaume continues to press forward.  He makes his mark at the provincial level and within a few years competes on the national stage. However, when he stacks himself against international competitors, he knows he needs to extend his training time. The short seasons in Abitibi do not suffice.  So, he looks to Florida, and goes there for 2 or 3 months per year. Progress continues again. He climbs the ladder in the open category. From 2010 to 2014, he reaches the 91st, 68th, 44th ,45th, and 20th rank on the list of the international water skiing federation. At last check of this list, he placed 9th in the open class and 2nd among those aged 21 and under. He is the only athlete who trains only eight months per year (others train all year long). He is the only international athlete who trains in Abitibi for four months out of the year. Guillaume is now world class. Besides, since we know that the average age of the top ten in the world is in the thirties, we can believe that his career is only beginning.  

Having started from far away in an environment hostile to the practice of his sport, Guillaume has overcome many obstacles to arrive among the world's elite. For the future, Guillaume will alternate between study sessions and training, always with a view to climb higher.

The salient points that Guillaume has reached over the years, his medals, his participation in world championships, his records, all these are reason for him to be proud: 

  • Three Quebec Provincial Games in water skiing, 8 medals 
  • Participation in the Quebec Provincial Games in trampoline and table tennis 
  • Seven Quebec junior records in figures 
  • Five Quebec U21 records in figures 
  • Two U21 Canadian records in figures 
  • Ten medals in the Canadian Championship 
  • 5th place in the Junior World Championship held  in Australia, 2013 
  • 7th place at the U21 World Championship held in  Florida, 2013 
  • Triple gold medal at the U21 International Pan American Championships, 2014 
  • 4th place at the U21 World Championships held  at Sesena, Spain, 2015 
  • 15th place at the Open World Championships held  at Chapala, Mexico, 2015 

Text from the bulletin Les Tétreau disent... Vol 18, no 1 (avril 2016)

Guillaume Tétreault on the top step of the podium! 

Congratulations to Guillaume Tétreault for clinching the Canadian championship in trick water skiing 

on August 14, 2016 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

L'Écho Abitibien