OTTAWA, ONTARIO (January 9, 2019) – It is with great sadness that Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) has learned of the passing of CKC Sprint National Team Alumni, Jean-Pierre Bertrand.
Jean-Pierre paddled with Cartierville Boating Club in Montreal and will be fondly remembered within the Canoe Kayak community as a talented paddler and valued teammate.
Al Thomson, his crewboat partner at the National Trials and World Championships added “JP was the consummate athlete and teammate. He led by example with a strong work ethic and passion for the task at hand and encouraged everybody around him to be better. Always fully prepared for training sessions and for races, he was super focused on the prize and had the discipline and work ethic required to see it through. These qualities endeared him to his teammates and made him a fierce competitor.”
Jean-Pierre raced at the national level in the late 1970s and 80’s with Cartierville, winning Canadian Titles in K4, first in Junior in 1976 and then in the Senior event in 1978. At the 1980 Canadian Championships, Jean-Pierre was a key member of the Burgee winning Cartierville team, winning Gold in Junior Men’s K1 500 and 1000m, and partnering with Gord Brown for another win in Junior Men’s K2 500m.
Jean Pierre made his international debut at home in Montreal in 1977, racing as a U18 at the North American Championships, where he would win the K2 10,000m event. Jean Pierre would go on to represent Canada at the Senior World Championships in 1981 and 1982.
Sue Holloway, a Canadian Teammate of Jean-Pierre on those 1981 and ’82 teams, shared high praise for his approach to sport and his value as a teammate, “JP was my favourite teammate. He was easy going and chill in a stressful and intense environment. His laugh came so easily and his smile genuinely lit up the room, both made many days better for me. JP was the epitome of taking life seriously but never taking himself seriously. “
Jean-Pierre’s later on-water accomplishments were earned at the same time as he was working towards a law degree, which would form the foundation of a distinguished career as a Senior Partner at McCarthy Tétrault, practicing in Montreal.
Bertrand leaves behind his wife, Kathleen, and three sons,Nicolas, Mathieu, and Jean-Philippe.
On behalf of the entire paddling community, Canoe Kayak Canada would like to send its deepest condolences to the Bertrand family.
A full obituary and funeral details are available online here.
About Canoe Kayak Canada
Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on , , and .
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