In 1983, Lynn Séguin (nee: Chornobrywy) became the modern pentathlon World Champion and received the Velma Springstead Award as Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year. Lynn is now a Coach with the Saskatoon Fencing Club and Prince Albert Fencing Northern Knights Fencing Club.
Olympian Joshua Riker-Fox recently sat down with Lynn to learn a little more about her relationship with the sport that propelled her to the top of the Canadian sport scene.
I followed my brother who had started doing Pony Club with a friend of his. My mom wanted me to try it too! I waited about a year to get involved as I was swimming at the time.
I competed 7 years on the National Team
When I started competing internationally, women competed in a World Cup – there was no World Championships! I did get to attend the first world championships in London for Women, it was quite the event – this was definitely a highlight!
Another highlight was watching a friend of mine (on TV) competing at the Olympic Games in Sydney – the first time women competed in the Games. This had always been a dream for me, but my friend persevered and made the dream come true. I was very happy for her! I never understood why it took so long for women to be a part of the Games in Modern Pentathlon, I thought that once women’s epee had become a part of the Games, Modern Pentathlon wouldn’t be far behind, but it was!
Today, I coach fencing in Saskatoon (Saskatoon Fencing Club) and I’m also an Educational Assistant with our public school.
I think the highlight so far is having a women foilist place 16th at Cadet World Championships. Since I don’t really get foil, I think this is pretty good!
Last spring I had a visit from a Danish coach and his wife. While I was competing, he and his wife were very good to me, and I stayed with them in Denmark and trained before a competition. That was very special for me as they were very kind to me while I competed in Modern Pentathlon.
I have to also say that one Modern Pentathlete from Finland kept in touch with me while he was trying to make their Olympic Games team for Los Angeles (1984). I received one letter saying he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to do it, then the very next day, I received a letter saying he was going! The funny thing was that the first letter took about one month to get to me, it got lost in the mail! I was very happy for him and sent him a telegram while he was at the Games. Wow, have times changed!
Never, ever give up on your dreams and goals. They may change a bit, morph into something a little different, but stay true to them and stay true to yourself.
I have to say that most favorite memory of training was with John Hawes. There was a time when we were preparing for World’s in 1983. I was doing a run workout. It was a short course, I can’t remember how long it was, but John kept telling me to go faster. I thought I was doing pretty good, but he wasn’t satisfied. So, I got mad at him and yelled at him that I was doing the best that I could do. He only smiled and told me to go faster! That was the only time I ever yelled at anyone – ever! I have to say that he was right, I could go faster. I always hated it when he was right!
Thanks Josh for the opportunity! Modern Pentathlon has given me many great things in my life. I will always be indebted to it for showing me many things about myself – some neat and some things that aren’t so neat about myself. However, if I hadn’t found pentathlon, I would never had gotten into fencing, met my husband, trained with some very special athletes and been around the world with them. I have been very fortunate and know to not take anything for granted.
Thank you for sharing your story Lynn!