Canoe master: Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny

Posted on February 6, 2018

With the Pyeongchang Winter Games starting this week, we’re taking a look at Canadian Olympic Committee athletes at Smith. This week it’s Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny.

Kingston, ON – As a youngster growing up in Trois-Rivières, QC, Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny, MBA’18, dreamed of going to the Olympics. He just didn’t know which sport. Then, at 12, he went to canoe camp, got hooked, and took up the canoe sprint.

In canoe sprint, athletes paddle on one knee, balancing the raw power required to outdistance competitors with the finesse of keeping the canoe upright and on course.

“Anyone who’s gone to the cottage and tried to paddle more than a kilometre, fast, in a straight line, without stopping can appreciate what’s involved,” Gabriel, 33, says.

In 2008, Gabriel realized his dream, going to the Beijing Olympics. In both the two-man 500m and 1,000m events, he and teammate Andrew Russell earned a trip to the finals. A few years later, partnered with Andrew’s brother, Ben, he won a World Cup gold medal and, in 2015, they won gold at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Ben and Gabriel’s camaraderie has continued at Smith, where both enrolled in the full-time MBA program. “We always have each other’s back, which is nice,” says Gabriel, who is now an assistant brand manager at Johnson & Johnson.

Tags: Alumni, MBA, Smith-COC