Know Your Athlete: Clement Secchi

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Clément Secchi, U4 Management, has spent a large part of his life in the pool. The fourth-year swimmer has been named McGill and RSEQ Athlete of the Week multiple times this year and recently won six gold medals at the RSEQ Championships, including the 4x50m relay, 200m butterfly and 50m butterfly— tuning team and RSEQ Records for all three. Secchi was also named Athlete of the Competition at the Championships as well as RSEQ Athlete of the Year.

Although he is clearly a dominant force in the pool, Secchi explained that his dedication and hard work got him to the level he is at today.

“I pride myself on never giving up and I kept training hard and going faster and faster,” he said in an interview with the Grandstand. “I wasn’t very fast when I was younger, so […] to be where I am today, good to see where I am [came] from.”

The star swimmer explained that he has no professional role models, but rather admires those closer to home.

“My biggest inspiration is probably my parents,” he said. “My parents [motivate me] with their work ethic. They are really hard workers. And if you work hard, then you can play hard.

Growing up in France, Secchi dabbled in several sports before settling on swimming as his favorite.

“I used to play football and tennis and swim at the same time when I was young, but after a few years I had to make a choice between sports and decided to stick with swimming,” Secchi said. “I liked the teammates I had and the pool was also really close to my house so it was really convenient. I’ve always loved being in the water. I spend most of my summers in the water .

He joined his hometown club in Aix-en-Provence, staying there until his second year at McGill, the year the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As he spends his third year in France during the pandemic, he climbs into France’s biggest swimming club, Circle of Swimmers Marseillea professional team that produces Olympic-level swimmers.

Secchi explained that the Marseille facility, very different from McGill’s Memorial Pool, is his favorite place to swim.

“The best place to train is definitely in Marseille,” he said. “The complex is on the beach, so when you’re done working out, you can walk 20 steps and then you’re in the sea. So it’s pretty amazing, different from the pool at McGill, that’s for sure.

Although Secchi could enjoy the Marseille pool more, the swimmer explained that he really loves his McGill teammates and appreciates the support they provide each other.

“It’s about having a really good vibe and everyone is working towards the same goals and everyone is working hard,” Secchi said. “I love the work ethic at McGill, everyone works hard and supports each other trying to be the best every day. »

A support network is crucial, especially given the amount of training they do. Secchi trains two to three times a day most days of the week and at least once a day except Sundays. Training for the McGill swim team includes both swim practices and weightlifting sessions twice a week.

Secchi stressed that with such a busy schedule, it’s crucial to stay organized and use your time efficiently. Even with a schedule like his, he makes sure to set aside time to take a nap every day.

“You get better at [the balance] as you get used to it,” he said. “I’m so much more aware of my homework and my swimming in my final year than in my first year. But it’s really about prioritizing and also being efficient.

As his time at McGill draws to a close, Secchi looks to the future and hopes to earn a master’s degree in the United States while spending his final year of eligibility competing in the NCAA. In the immediate term, however, you can see Secchi compete in the U Sports Championships on March 23.

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