Biography:

While growing up in and competing for France, Julien Bahain always dreamed of representing his mother’s homeland. Every time he was on a rowing course, he would look carefully at what the Canadians were doing. After a tough go at London 2012, he took a year off, not knowing if he would return for another Olympic run, having already won bronze at Beijing 2008. But after rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in 49 days, he knew he wasn’t done. He resumed training with the French eight, but it just wasn’t right and he decided it was time for a change. The year off permitted him to switch countries, giving him the opportunity to pack his bags, sell everything and move to Victoria in September 2014. The transition to racing for Canada wasn’t always easy because no one on the team spoke French, making it hard for him to understand some of the coaching instructions. But thefirst time he received the maple leafs for his blades was a very proud moment. Bahain had been a member of the French national team for 11 years, winning four world championship medals. He’s also a three-time victor at the Henley Royal Regatta, including 2014 when he was a last minute substitute. Bahain underwent surgery in late February 2015 after rupturing his L4-L5 lumbar disc which left him paralyzed in his right foot. Unsure if he would ever row again, his rehab was a success and he was back in a boat three months later. He won two gold medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games with the quad sculls and the eight. He’s also stood on two World Cup podiums with the quad sculls.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Bruno Bahain and Marie Martin Bahain… Younger brothers Pierre and Paul (pro hockey player in France)… Younger sisters Laura and Claire both row for France at the junior level… Wife Katie Steenman Bahain… Getting into the Sport: Started rowing at age 13… Had grown too fast and was diagnosed with scoliosis so his doctor told him to swim or row to build muscle… He’s afraid of being in the water so he chose rowing… Had been an equestrian and thought rowing was a useless sport so told his mom he would row one season but fell in love with it… Outside Interests: Graduated from Université de Technologie de Compiègne with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Project Management… Worked as a manager with the French railway company (SNCF)… Enjoys reading about history (World Wars I & II, Middle Ages), writing, and travelling… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: “Hope for best. Be prepared for the worse”… Always travels with his Snoopy, a teddy bear that he’s had since he was born… Nicknames: Ju, Marcel…