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SKATE CHAT
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JG.com:  Several of your fans have asked for specific details about your mindset, on and off the ice, your skating, training and diet.  So to start off this portion of the interview, we'd like to know what is your personal best lap time (not necessarily a record in a competition, just your own personal best time)?

Jonathan:  My best lap time is 8.19.  I did it twice in Calgary and a couple of times at 8.2 in Calgary and Salt Lake City.  I did it in 1-lap training.  In a race, my best is around 8.3.

JG.com:  Which venue/arena is your favorite for skating?  Why?

Jonathan:  My best ever was in the Salt Lake City Olympic Games (2002).  There were so many people in there and the atmosphere was crazy.  The ice was very good, too.

JG.com:  And which rink do you think has the fastest ice in the world for short track?

Jonathan:  Without hesitation I would say in Calgary.  It's not only fast, but it can hold so well.  Everybody seems to be able to go fast on that ice.  But I prefer to have competitions on bad ice sometimes.  You must rely more on your technical skills.  And the best skaters tend to get away from the pack more [on bad ice].

JG.com:  What do you do the night before a competition?

Jonathan:  There is not much to do in a hotel room.  I try to relax, watch some TV, read a book, play some video games.

JG.com:  What are your goals for the 2004/2005 season? 

Jonathan:  The same as they were this year:  to be consistent all year long and have a spot on the podium at Worlds.  (I can say that I did it last season, even if I finished 6th; we all know that I was going to be on the podium overall without my injury).

JG.com:  Now that the Olympics are coming to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2010, will you consider extending your career for 4 more years so as to compete in the Games in Canada?

Photographer Unknown
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The night lights of coastal Vancouver, British Columbia reflect in the water.

Jonathan:  Right now I do not think so.  I will be too old for short track in 2010.  I would be 31 years old.  I think I will continue 1 year after the [2006] Games, just to make a transition between my old and new lives.

JG.com:  Sometimes people seem to know from an incredibly young age that they are meant to do or be a part of something.  How old were you realized that you were good enough at skating that you would probably become an elite athlete and eventually make the National Team?

Jonathan:  I was 14 years old.  At that time I was playing a lot of soccer during the summer and I had to choose between soccer and skating.  I chose skating.  I trained really hard that summer and the results were so good that season that the choice was easy to make.

JG.com:  It sounds like it!  What makes you a good competitor, in your opinion?  What qualities contribute to your success on the ice?

Jonathan:  I would say my technical skills on the ice, especially on bad ice conditions and my patience during a race.  I tend not to panic too early in a race and I'm able to wait for the right moment to make a safe and clean pass.  I guess that's part of the strategies.  And last, I would say the love I have for training (on and off the ice).

JG.com:  And speaking of training, how much can you leg press?

Jonathan:  I have no idea.  LOL  I never check those numbers.  I never write how much I lift in weight training.  I know I am supposed to, but ...

JG.com:  In your last interview with JG.com, you said that you were doing a lot of hard training in order to be better at the longer distances like the 1000m and 1500m, and it seems to have paid off.  What specifically did you do in training to improve your strength and endurance?

Jonathan:  Yes, it was a goal to improve on those distances and even the 3000m to be able to beat the Koreans.  Like you said, it paid off this season.  I was able to skate more in front without fear of "dying" (running out of energy).  And I cannot reveal my training secrets.  ;o)

I did a lot of interval training on and off the ice and a lot of laps, like 27 laps on the ice.  We did a lot of those in Montréal in training, some fast ones on a 9.8 - 10.0 pace.  I did 4.31 in a 3000m with a start in Montréal this winter and it gave me some confidence to face the Koreans in that distance.

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SPROUTING IDEAS
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JG.com:  So now that we know about the training, how about your diet?  Have you changed it?  What's it like?

Jonathan:  Yes, I did change it.  My girlfriend, Amélie, is studying to become a naturopath [a type of doctor], so I tried some new things [on her advice] this year.  The idea in this diet is simple;  it's to eat as much raw food as possible (except meat - well, sometimes raw fish, sushi is so good), the most natural, whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods etc., so yes, I eat organic food and a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Something I like to eat that is very good is sprouts.  I sprout some grains like kamut, spelt, wheat, rye, barley, quinoa, etc. and some beans like chickpeas, lentils, green peas, adzuki, mung etc.

It's so simple and inexpensive (even if it's organic).  I can bring some to competitions even when I am in Europe or Asia.  You just soak your grains or beans for 12 hours.  It takes between 1 to 4 days to grow.  A good book for this is The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore.

(Note from Webmistress Lori:  This book can be found on the internet easily and very inexpensively (just a few bucks!) if you want to read it.  If you'd like to order it, here's the ISBN: 0895292467.)

You can grow alfalfa very easily too, but it takes longer than the grains and beans (5 days).  So at World Cups and Worlds this year I was eating a lot of them, because we never know what kind of food were going to have in hotel buffets around the world. 

I also fast 1 day per week.  I only drink a lot of water that day.  A lot of people were sure that [by adopting this diet] this year my performance on the ice was going to go down dramatically.  But that was not the case at all;  it was the best season of my career so far, I guess those people were wrong.
 
JG.com:  I understand that over the last season you have gone from 12% to 5% body fat.  How did you accomplish that?

Jonathan:  Well, its very simple, just by the way I am eating.  And I am an athlete so I get a lot of exercise every day.  There is no magic way for this.  Again it's simple.  Eat well and move.

Down, But Not Out ... page 3