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Joël Bourgeois: Building a better New Brunswick Running Community




New Brunswick’s Francophone regions produce many of our top athletes. One of these is Olympian and Steeplechase champion, Joël Denis Bourgeois. Bourgeois does not seek the spotlight, but he is an important New Brunswick Athlete who has made a valuable contribution to our athletic community, and we are proud to be inducting him this year as part of our class of 2024.


He was born on April 25, 1971, in Grand-Digue, New Brunswick, into a family of runners. He became a passionate runner early in life, winning gold at Jeux de l’Acadie, 1984. After discovering his potential, he began to aspire toward top-level competition. Representing Canada, Bourgeois competed in the Summer Olympics in 1996 and 2000. Achieving notable success in his speciualty, the 3000 meter steeplechase.


One of Bourgeois's significant achievements was winning the gold medal in the men's 3000 meters steeplechase at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He also secured a silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


In addition to his Pan American Games success, Bourgeois won the silver medal in the men's 3000 meters steeplechase at the 1995 summer Universiade (Now FISU University Games) and a bronze in 1999.


He has remained active in the athletics community, notably as a coach at the University of Moncton. Having developed to an international level, Mr. Bourgeois had much to contribute to the next generation of New Brunswick runners.


His mentees include Ryan Cassidy, who – at the Canadian junior cross-country championship in 2011 – became the first New Brunswicker to win a national junior or senior running title. Another protégé of Mr. Bourgeois, Geneviève Lalonde, has won gold in Steeplechase at the 2019 Pan American Games, and has also set two national records for the Women’s 3000 meter steeplechase.

We would be remiss if we did not also mention Jean-Marc Doiron, who recently won the 10K Chaleur Uni CKLE last June, placing first out of 137 other runners. Jean-Marc’s goals at present are to break 2:30 in a marathon, and also to complete an entire marathon while juggling.


On June 1st, we will honour Joël Bourgeois for his athletic accomplishments, and for his noteworthy contribution to the running community in New Brunswick, especially in the Southeastern region. Join us at our 54th Induction Gala at Marjorie Young Bell Convocation Hall in Tantramar. For tickets and information, please visit www.nbshf.ca


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