JANIE GUIMOND | #1 | POSITION: LIBERO | INTERNATIONAL MATCHES: 88 | HOMETOWN: BECANCOUR, QUEBEC | NICKNAMES: LA PETITE, LIBEROTTE, THING 1
Let me introduce you to one of our amazing liberos: Janie Guimond. I’ve been playing Team Canada with Janie for the past 7 years and we still have at least 2 more to go after this! We’ve been through so many team changes, transitions, ups and downs, and luckily I’ve had her by my side thru it all. I’ve been all over the world with this girl which is a pretty special thing. Janie really has an incredible zest for life; wherever she is in the world she wants to gain the best experiences and immerse herself into the culture wholeheartedly. She is just a very sweet and kind individual and it’s a pleasure to be able to have her in my life for so long and be able to call her my dear friend. As mentioned on the last player profile, she and Becky played in Kopenick together when I was in Potsdam and so we had the city of Berlin as a frequent meeting point and playground. I had a great time exploring the city, running around castles and markets, and overdosing on coffees with the pair of them. One of the most hilarious/scariest moments I had with these two was when we took a trip to the Liquidrome in Berlin. Side note: North Americans playing pro can sometimes take a while to adjust to the amount of nakedness that can occur on a professional team overseas… and there’s really no opportunity to shy away. Well, this experience was brought to a whole NEW level of naked. The Liquidrome is a mandatory naked spa for women… and men. Together. Mixed. All together running around in the same hot tubs, pools, saunas, steam rooms, and whatever other majestic space there was available. Very long story made short(er): coming out of a sauna I saw Janie leaning over a railing and when I ran up to her and asked if she was ok, she literally sank to the ground and basically passed out on me. Except she was still aware of what was going on, it was just that her eyeballs were moving at different but very rapid speeds, and kept repeating “Kyla I can’t see... Kyla I can’t see anything”. Way to freak a girl out, Janie. Meanwhile Becky had come and gone to find an attendant and I’m trying to simultaneously throw a towel down on her naked-self and physically beat down the random men who all came over and claimed to be “doctors”. Nice try, dudes - get lost. She was okay though! Just mental note for everyone in such a situation: do NOT plunge yourself into a cold tub after being inside an intense over-heated steam room (the kind when there’s a person whipping the towel around and around to increase the heat… which doesn’t seem so necessary inside a sauna). Scary at the time, but at least we can laugh at it now! Onto the volleyball side of life, she’s a powerhouse. She’s SUCH an athletic player and will whip out the most impressive digs at the most important moments. This past year the international rule changed where you could have two designated liberos playing at the same time, where 1 libero is passing and the other is defending. That worked out very well in our favour to say the least… now we get Tesca and Janie on the court working their strongest skill against our opponents at all times. For anyone else in Janie’s position they could have taken that the wrong way after putting many, many hard years into the team. Instead, she ran with the idea and has embraced her role as being one of the best defensive liberos.
- 2008 – present: Team Canada
- 2013 – 2014: Terville-Florange Olympic Club, France
- 2012 – 2013: Kopenick Sport Club, Germany
- 2011 – 2012: Sport Club Municipal, Romania
- 2003 – 2008 University of Montreal
- 2002 – 2003 Trois-Rivieres College, Quebec
Janie is such a fantastic teammate in so many ways - on and off the court. She's always the one to let us (hitters) know where the open spots are on the court and is constantly checking with her blockers to make sure they know what they’re blocking. Always keeping us gelled together. Janie is also the first to hop on any volunteer opportunity for our team. Whether it’s for our biggest fundraiser for Team Canada (holllaaaaaa Super Spike!!) or if it’s helping out a younger player who is here to train with us, she makes everyone's life easier and more comfortable.
I actually played against Janie and the Montreal team in the CIS National Final in my first year. I don’t remember too many details about the game but I do remember Janie and how amazing she was. I remember watching her play in the semi-finals and thinking that we might have a liiiiiittle bit of trouble scoring against her. She’s just so dang good and SO dang fast. Be prepared to always be a few steps slower than her because her reaction time is not human. The cool thing about Janie is that she just doesn’t know how good she is. After so many years of proving herself in every situation, she is still her own biggest enemy. She is humble, hardworking, and so dedicated to this sport and team. She is one of the most resilient athletes I’ve worked beside and she will absolutely take no short cuts if she has a goal in mind. Never once have I seen her skip out on an opportunity for more passing reps or decide to skip a few reps in the weight room. Every single day she is there to get better and in the process she pushes all of her teammates to get better (and also makes her hitters better by not letting us get away with anything other than a straight down kill… but even then she’s probably going to dig you). This girl really has the biggest heart and it’s been so much fun to fly all around the world with her and experience so many things. She’s been a part of every one of my biggest and most precious Team Canada memories – but we have 1 more to conquer together before this is over!!! Rio 2016, baby!
- 2014 NORCECA Best Libero, All-Star Team
- 2013 Volleyball Quebec Female Athlete of the Year
- 2008 Quebec and CIS Libero of the Year
- 2008 CIS National Championships First Team All-Star
- 2003 & 2007 Sport Excellence Award, Quebec
- 2003 Female Athlete of the Year
- 2002 Rookie of the Year, All-Star Canada East Cup
Fan Fun Facts
- Best thing about playing for Team Canada: “Playing with the best players in the country, representing our flag all over the world, and inspiring young athletes and kids to pursue their dreams.”
- Most memorable volleyball moment: “My first international match at Pan Am Cup in Mexico with my idol Annie Levesque (it was in 2008 which was her last year on the team)."
- Inspirational person: “My family because they make me grow as a person every day. I am so lucky to have them all in my life."
- She graduated with a Bachelors of Occupational Therapy at the University of Montreal, got her second cycle diploma in Kinesiology, and then worked as an occupational therapist at the Santa Cabrini Hospital. She’s told me stories of her patients and her admiration and love of these people come through in her stories. It really shows that she took the time to get to know every single one of her patients on an individual level. Everyone has a story worth telling.
- Pre-game routine: “Nap in the afternoon, look at the scout-sheet, and visualize applying the tactics and playing well."
- Her favorite place to play was in Berlin, Germany. She says it was her best overall experience; good league, great teammates, awesome city, and just amazing people. (And because I was only a train ride away… of couuurrseeee).
- The player you most look up to: “Brenda Castillo (the Dominican Republic libero) for her incredible volleyball skills."
- She taught herself how to knit 2 winters ago… now she’s a pro. Naturally.
- She loves her entire family so much - you can feel it after 1 conversation with her. Every Christmas they make the most unbelievable home-made gifts which is just amazing. Janie’s are unbelievable but she swears that other family members out-do her every year. AND she starts making the gift in about May or June.
- Janie has lived in the “French House” in Winnipeg (aka Ulster House) for the last 6 years.
- She went skydiving in September 2010 with friends… Kudos.
- You might have noticed a little twinkle or sparkle under her left eye. I know you were all tricked - it's not her sparkling eyeballs but indeed, a piercing. Yeeeeaaaaa a piercing…. In her cheek. SHE'S SO COOL, YOU GUYS!
- When she was born she had a fractured collarbone. She also started walking when she was 9 months old. Bionic-super baby.
- She takes a photo of every single gym she’s played or practiced in and a short video clip of her doing an exercise at a workout facility. Compilation of gyms all over the world!
- Janie is one of the original founders of “sicky sleeves” on the National Team. We brought over the quarter sleeves this last year and she did a big order for everyone!
- We once laughed for HOURS over a picture of a furless cat with “hairless nips”. Hours.
- She always saves her Starbucks sleeves. Recycle. Reuse. Go Green!
- She has 3 siblings: Yan is an engineer, Cathie is a surgeon and has 2 kidlettes, Olivier and Edouard, and Valerie is an artist who also has 2 kids, Lauralie and Esteban.
- Janie actually got cut from the team back in 2011 but didn’t let that get in the way of her dreams. The next summer she came back faster, better, and stronger than she ever has been and completely proved herself to be one of the best we have had. This isn’t necessarily a “fun fact” but if that’s not dedication and resilience, I don’t know what is. A quote she constantly lives by is "If you keep doing what you've always done, keep being who you've always been, nothing changes unless you make a change". This girl never quits and never gives up, regardless of the situation - something we can all learn from.
- Janie’s post-volleyball aspirations:
A. To work in the field of occupational therapy with kids that have learning disabilities.
B. To work on the long-term development of young athletes in Quebec. She also wants to give back to sport, perhaps as an assistant coach at the University of Montreal with Olivier Trudel.