The couples of top-level athletes are not common in the world of sports. Like all the others, they go through ups and downs in their respective careers but also in their daily lives. The compound of the boxer David Lemieux and diver Jennifer Abel is no different.
They began dating for a few months before Jennifer moves into the house of David after the olympic Games of Rio in 2016.
Through their love story of the last four years, they have celebrated great successes together, but they also have to overcome the hard knocks in a mutually supportive way.
Lemieux was not spared during this period. After losing his world title against Gennady Golovkin in 2015, he has worked hard to get his chance in a world championship fight. He collected against great Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders in 2017, but he has stumbled in a duel in a single direction.
Subsequently, the problems of weight loss and the injuries have been of the pitfalls in his career. During these difficult times, the striker 31-year-old has been able to count on the support of his promoter Camille Estephan and his trainer Marc Ramsay.
However, we should not under-estimate the contribution of his partner Jennifer Abel. She was a life companion who has quickly been able to understand the vagaries of the noble art.
Two opposite worlds
The boxer, who defends the colors of Eye of the Tiger Management, talks about them with admiration.
“I never thought ever that I would share my life with a diver, told David Lemieux in a generous interview with The Journal de Montréal. It clicked, just.
“Obviously we needed adjustments in the first time because he had just had two sports to be completely different. Me, I’m in a sport quite aggressive. His sport, the dip, is the opposite. “
He also told an anecdote on this subject.
“I saw Jennifer socialize with other divers and other divers. I told him : “What are you doing here to develop a friendship with a girl who is your opponent on the springboard ?” “
In the world of Lemieux, friendship and respect will be earned with fists on her neck. The boxer always wants to do evil to that which is in front of him.
It sometimes happens that two boxers develop a relationship of friendship after a war of 10 or 12 rounds. However, this is not the norm in this field, where the intimidation and domination still play an important role.
“Over time, Jennifer and I have been able to join us somewhere. With Jennifer in my life, it became really easy for me to focus on my mission, which is to go into the highest echelons of boxing.
“Regardless, if I have interviews, training or fighting, it includes all the facets of my job. Jennifer is able to assimilate all what I tell him. This is a person that is very strong. “
We have seen the olympian repeatedly in the entourage of Lemieux before one of his fights. It is discreet. She doesn’t waste saliva unless asked to do so.
Often, only his presence is enough for her man to feel supported.
The return of the pendulum
At the end of march, the report of the Tokyo Games has been announced. It was the turn of Jennifer to need the support of his spouse.
“The first 48 hours have been difficult,” said Jennifer Abel, who was to take part in his fourth olympic Games. When you are a few months of Games and you do say that it’s not going to happen, it is hard to collect.
“It was a situation where there was a black cloud. We didn’t know if Team Canada was going to cancel our participation, or if there would be a postponement of the Games. “
We can very well understand his disappointment. Abel had achieved excellent results since the beginning of its competitive season at both individual and duet. She was on a roll that would have perhaps led to one or two olympic medals.
She has not had to look far for comfort. Even if he has never participated in the olympic Games, Lemieux knew well the feelings that
lived his girlfriend.
“I’m lucky to be with David. He was able to understand what I was experiencing. Many people say that it is only a year, but this is not just a year. It’s a lot (of sacrifices).
“David immediately understood the implications even before I talk to him and he to me has listened. I had a great sense of relief when he told me : “This is not serious. We will go one day at a time. It is only a postponement. The next year, it’s going to be your year.” “
Lemieux talks about his role with humility.
“I have not had to play psychologist with it, he said. It is very strong. Jennifer is able to motivate by itself.
“His disappointment was not very long to digest. She knows the date of the next olympic Games, and she is already focused on it. It is impressive to see it go daily. “
The boxer was scheduled to make the trip to Japan to encourage its diving preferred. It has already postponed all its reservations to 2021. Can not miss the chance to see her sweet win an olympic medal.
Lemieux and Abel, it is more than a couple of two athletes. They also have two children of boxer, Lilyanna and Leon.
“It was really a family, a life together,” said Abel. Yes, we had our sports.
“But it was also Lilyanna and Leo, her son who lives in Russia and who spends his summers with us. It is not only the two athletes that come together in the evening after their workouts and which return to their routine the next morning. “
The confinement of the last few weeks because of the COVID-19 has allowed them to tighten the links between them.
“In normal times, it is in our workouts, and Lily goes to school. One is in an accelerated mode. There, during the break, we take the opportunity more to spend some time with it.
“We made the bike, and she participated in our training. It also does her homework. “
A mother-in-law proud
When Jennifer speaks of her daughter-in-law, his voice is full of pride. It is the diver that attends the duties of the small.
“When she started school, Lily was already speaking three languages. At home, we speak French with her. It is a little girl on.
“I like to see it continue to develop and that helps me to return to the base. When she gets good grades in school, I am proud to say that we managed it together. It is like winning a gold medal. One of the most beautiful. “
The hair, the ultimate test
The close of Lemieux know at what point he is very picky with his hair cuts. It is almost sickly.
Given that the salons are closed due to the pandemic, the pugilist had to switch to plan B.
Jen has passed the test hands up “, was later highlighted a David Lemieux fully satisfied.”>
In this period of a pandemic, Abel is improvised dressing-table for her spouse, who seemed to be rather worried about the shot. “Jen has passed the test hands up “, was later highlighted a David Lemieux fully satisfied.
This is Jennifer who took care of this task. Like one of his dives perfect, it has not made much of splash.
“I never thought that someone other than my hairdresser I would cut the hair, told Lemieux. Jen has passed the test hands down.
“Since she is with me, she has passed all the tests. There is an expression that says that there is a strong woman behind a man. I think we can say this of our couple. ”
A rest is beneficial due to the containment
David Lemieux and Jennifer Abel practice of demanding sports. During the containment due to the pandemic of the COVID-19, they continue to train, but they use it to give some relief to their body.
Lemieux suffered several injuries, particularly to the hands, over the last few years. Besides, he has undergone a before his fight against Max Bursak, in December last year.
“A break can’t hurt at my hands, explained the author of the 34-knock-out career. I am the shadow with the weight, but there is no impact. It makes a difference.
“I can heal small injuries and small tears to the interior. However, when I’m going to start hitting them in bags, I’m going to have to reshape the horn on my knuckles. It is a knife with two edges, but this is more like it. “
As high-level athletes, David Lemieux and Jennifer Abel are struggling to keep a routine in which one or two times per day.
With an olympic athlete as a blonde, it can’t fall into the procrastination.
“Jennifer and I are in the same line of thought. We keep the routine as best as we can. We train one to two times per day.
“I am well equipped at home, and all that I need is a bag of sand and a coach. The important thing is to keep me in shape to be ready when the light will be green. I want to be ready to go. “
Lemieux tries to keep an ideal weight by eating good things with reasonable portions prepared by Jennifer.
Effects after a month
Abel was a little unsettled at the beginning of the confinement. It has never been far from the pool during a long period of time.
“Even on vacation, there was a gymnasium or a swimming pool to keep in shape, she mentioned. I feel better than I was before this break.
“It is pleasant to me to train with David. We encourage one another. “
Of course, its exercises in the home do not have the same intensity as the swimming pool. Indeed, she feels the beneficial effects.
“It took me a week or two before you see an impact on my body. However, this was actually more difficult in the last week.
“I realized that my body really needed rest. “
Before the confinement, she peaufinait the last details of her dives in preparation for the Tokyo Games.
“I found it really hard to give the little extra needed. Everything had to be perfect. This break will allow me to just re-balance in my head. “