The talented girl with the long name, Georcy-Stephanie Thiffeault Picard – or Gee-Oh, as she’s usually called – will represent Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Georcy, 25, is from Montreal, and this will be her first Olympics. She is the only woman representing Canada in archery, and joins Crispin Duenas, who will represent the men.
Georcy won a continental qualifying place for Canada at the Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia, and was selected for the team in June.
HOW SHE GOT STARTED
“Let’s face it, I was bad at figure skating and after approximately six years on a swimming team, the little girl in me had enough of dry and bleached hair due to chlorine,” she said. “My parents put me in a sports summer camp in Montreal, and during the summer I fell in love with three different sports: fencing, weight-lifting and archery.
“The archery coach told me I was talented and should start real classes in September. I asked my parents. My father said ‘no,’ because it seemed like a male sport, but my mother said, ‘If you like it, let’s go!’”
Her parents used an interesting strategy to motivate Georcy. “My mom said, ‘If you get a 9, I will give you a dollar, and if it’s a 10, 2 dollars.’ By November I had bought myself a bow with the money and she said, ‘OK, time to stop or you’ll put me on the street!’”
WHEN SHE STARTED DREAMING OF THE OLYMPICS
“I remember watching the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia,” she said. “It seemed magical and I was fascinated as I watched it unfold. All these countries were together in peace and celebrating. I still think it’s pretty amazing to have everyone together despite conflicts and wars going on. For one moment, the world is together watching the athletes pursue the same goal of an Olympic medal. I first decided I wanted to represent Canada at the Olympics in 2008, but I knew I had lots of work to do to make it happen.”
WHO WILL BE MOST PROUD OF HER?
“It’s really a toss between Mom and Dad,” she said. “Although Dad didn’t agree at first about me doing archery, he is now super proud of his little girl, so I can’t really say! My mom and dad were my first sponsors, obviously. I am happy to have relieved them from the cost of archery so they can now relax and only support me emotionally.”
WHAT SHE’S MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT RIO
“I’m looking forward to competing at my optimum, as I’ve been training hard to get to this point in my career. I can’t wait to experience the Olympic ambiance and spirit, of course! I’ve been dreaming of this moment and can’t wait for it to finally arrive. I’d love to achieve a personal best in the Sambodromo. I would celebrate with a samba dance!”
WHO IS HER ARCHERY HERO?
“I don’t really have anyone in particular,” she said. “I mean, I admire different people for different things: Crispin Duenas, also representing Canada in Rio, for his determination and strong will; Jean-Charles Valladont from France, because he is down to earth and has a good sense of humor; Park Sung Hyun from South Korea for her strong form; and Jay Barrs from the USA for his mental toughness.”
IF SHE WASN’T AN ARCHER, SHE WOULD BE …
“I really couldn’t say,” she said. “I have never imagined my life to be any other way, and never regretted my choice of jumping into archery. I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today, because this sport shaped who I am.”
OTHER SPORTS SHE LIKES
“I love swimming! I just do,” she said. “I feel free doing it and I love watching it. I will for sure attend swimming races, synchronized swimming and diving in Rio if I can.”
IF SHE COULD KEEP ONLY FIVE POSSESSIONS…
“I would be sad without my bow,” she said. “Do we count it as one piece or many? OK, bow, car, house, underwear, boyfriend (he jokingly forced me to say that!).”
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR TOMBSTONE TO SAY?
“My name has always been too long for any kind of lines in any documents, so I expect my name will take up the whole thing. Ha ha ha!”
DESCRIBE ARCHERY IN ONE WORD.
Watch Picard represent Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games beginning Aug. 5. Check out NBC’s full broadcasting schedule here, then tune into the archery action to see who brings home the gold.