Ousmane Guindo, a sociology major, was one of three McGill athletes invited to the 2018 CFL Eastern Regional Combine. Overall, Guindo feels satisfied with the legacy he and his teammates are leaving behind. Collectively, they have striven to combat a defeatist attitude within the football program; McGill’s four victories in the 2016 season were the programs highest win total since 2006.
“We changed the culture at McGill, the losing culture,” Guindo said. “And, for me, that was the best memory.”
Guindo will also miss the daily motivation that his teammates provided him with.
“Sometimes […] you’re like ‘Damn, I don’t want to practice,’ [….but] even though it was hard […] at least you were with your guys, and there were people helping you […] on your bad days,” Guindo said.
Guindo enjoyed his time with the football team so much that, after four strong seasons with the Redmen, he is negotiating the possibility of returning for a fifth.
“I love the guys, I love the culture,” Guindo said. “Playing with the guys one last time, that would be one of my biggest wishes.”
Redmen basketball forward François Bourque will be hanging up his sneakers for the foreseeable future.
“Yeah, that’s it for me,” Bourque said. “At least for a while […] I’m taking a little break.”
Of his many memories at McGill, Bourque looks back most fondly on his travels with the team. In November 2016, he and three of his teammates travelled around China for the World University League 3×3 basketball championships.
“That was an overall amazing experience,” Bourque said. “[Especially because] McGill was representing Canada and we were ranked last overall and we ended up winning the whole tournament.”
To his and his teammates’ amusement, the locals of Xiamen were excited to welcome Bourque and his teammates.
“They’re not used to […] a lot of tourists, so when we got there, they were treating us like professional basketball players,” Bourque said. “Because I guess they’re not used to seeing six-foot-five or six-foot-six basketball players, wherever we would go in the city, they were just taking a bunch of pictures of us, asking us for autographs [….] It was cool to be treated like superstars.”
Bourque put a number on the signatures he’s given out over his basketball career.
“Here, in Montreal, not many,” Bourque said. “In China, probably over 50.”
Nathan Chiarlitti had a productive final season as the captain of the Redmen hockey team, scoring five goals and accumulating 20 assists in 44 games. Graduating with a MSc in exercise physiology, he received the Richard Pound Trophy for Proficiency and Leadership in Athletics at the McGill athletics awards gala.
After playing for three years with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men, Chiarlitti’s two years sporting McGill colours mark the end of his university eligibility. Moving forward, Chiarlitti said that he will miss being able to play with his teammates.
“Any time you can leave a job, or you can leave school and go see your best friends for an hour and a half, two hours, […] I think that’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Chiarlitti said.
His favourite memory of his time at McGill was playing in and winning the Queen’s Cup this season.
“The first couple periods […] I remember how prepared the boys were and how much we wanted it going on the road [….] It was just one of those memorable games.”
Another resonant memory was the Redmen’s 2017 bus adventure: The team got trapped in a snowstorm on their way to nationals in New Brunswick last year, and their bus broke down on their way home too.
Chiarlitti recently signed on to play pro hockey in Australia this summer and will be beginning a MD-PhD program at the University of Ottawa in September.
Francis Lambert-Lemay was an exceptional defender for the Redmen hockey team, contributing two goals and 11 assists over the course of the season. Lambert-Lemay is graduating with a BA in economics.
After he graduates, Lambert-Lemay explained that he will miss his teammates the most.
“After a long day at school, heading to the rink and seeing all of the guys,” Lambert-Lemay said. “That’s what I’m going to miss the most, just being surrounded [by] friends.”
Lambert-Lemay looked back fondly on the team’s two trips to nationals, the annual Carnival Games, and a pre-season trip to Colorado in his rookie season; however, his favourite memory of all is winning the Queen’s Cup Championship this year.
After four successful years at McGill, Myriam Robitaille has big plans for her volleyball career, including potential gigs with a professional European team and the Canadian national senior team.
“I signed [an] agent to play [professionally] in Europe next year, so I am waiting on news from him,” Robitaille said. “Otherwise, in the next years, I would like to be part of the [Canadian senior national] team [….] Maybe [playing in the] 2024 [Olympics] would be a good objective.”
Although she will ultimately find herself among a new group of teammates wherever she plays in upcoming years, Robitaille fondly remembers the many great individuals she met at McGill.
“Throughout the whole four years, I met different people,” Robitaille said. “And every year there was a different vibe, but a good one.”
In addition to her teammates, she will miss her classmates and other students. She was quick to describe McGillians as focused and driven, highlighting the inclusiveness of the McGill community.
“[I’m going to miss] the belonging feeling,” Robitaille said. ”With the team, but with the school as well, I met so many great people.”
Frédérique Potvin, a guard for the Marlet basketball team, came to McGill after three seasons playing for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. This season, she started in 32 games, averaging 13.8 points per game. Her favourite memory as a Martlet is winning the national championship in 2017.
“[Winning the championship] is not something many people can say they have accomplished, and I will definitely cherish this accomplishment for the rest of my life,” Potvin wrote in a message to the The McGill Tribune.
Potvin is graduating with a BA in social work. After graduation, she hopes to play professionally.
As a fifth-year member of the McGill volleyball team, Marjolaine Ste-Marie has made many memories as a Martlet. The team’s trip to Manitoba for nationals in 2016, where they forced the eventual national champion University of Toronto Varsity Blues to a fifth set during the quarter finals, remains one of her favourite moments on the team.
“It was such a great experience that was so much fun,” Ste-Marie said of the tournament.
Without a doubt, the thing she will miss the most about being a McGill Martlet are the people—players and coaches alike—who accompanied her along the way. From describing the moment when a teammate hid in a laundry basket to scare the coaches, to catching up with other players right after her interview with the Tribune, Ste-Marie always seemed at home around her teammates.
Graduating with a BSc in physical therapy, Ste-Marie will be working at Accès Physio on Montreal’s South Shore.
“I’m going to stay in sports, helping other athletes,” Ste-Marie said.
While fans won’t be able to find Érika Cournoyer on the court in a McGill jersey next year, they will be able to spot her in the stands cheering on her girls. Cournoyer is staying on at McGill to finish her graduate Diploma in management.
Despite hundreds of hours on the court and in the gym, Cournoyer never tired of spending time with her teammates.
“We always see each other, [almost] every day,” Cournoyer said. “[If] we don’t see each other for two days, we’re all like, ‘I miss you.’”
The group’s tight bond comes with some great memories, and for Cournoyer, the most notable of them was the team’s quarter-final game against the Varsity Blues at nationals in 2016.
“There were a lot of people […] so it was super loud,” Cournoyer said. “We went into five sets. It was [an] intense game.”
Simone Cseplo is a Martlet backstroker and freestyler graduating with a BA in sociology. She plans to take a year off to work after graduation but aims to eventually return to university to earn a master’s degree in communications and marketing.
Cseplo’s favourite memory from her time at McGill is winning a medal at nationals in her first year.
“At that moment, I was so proud and overwhelmed to be a Martlet and [to] be part of a team where one person’s success radiated to the entire team,” Cseplo wrote in a message to Tribune. “They are an incredible group of caring and supportive people and are the reason why I loved the sport so much.”