Interview with Danielle Merasty

Sport Oral History Archive
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00:00:14 - Introductions

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Partial Transcript: So, I grew up and I was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle tells us a little about herself including where she was born, where she grew up, and where she lives now.

Keywords: Fredericton; Hamilton; New Brunswick; Oakville; Ontario; Sheridan College; St. Catharines

00:00:39 - Please describe your relationship to the Canada Games.

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Partial Transcript: I was involved in the 2009 Canada Games in PEI, as an athlete, I was a swimmer.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle describes her involvement in the 2009 Canada Summer Games on Prince Edward Island.

Keywords: Canada Summer Games; PEI; Prince Edward Island

Subjects: Career Impacts

00:01:42 - How did you travel to the Canada Games? Did you tour around, or did you stay in one place?

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Partial Transcript: So, we traveled with the team to the Games. We traveled by bus; well it’s about a three-hour drive, so it’s not too bad. So, everyone had a meeting location...

Segment Synopsis: Danielle talks about what it was like to travel to the Canada Games, how they got there, and the travel/sightseeing that took place at the Games once in PEI.

Keywords: Athlete; Bus; Campbellton; Cavendish; Fredericton; Mirimichi; Moncton; Saint John; Social; Summerside

Subjects: Socializing at the Canada Games; Travel to the Canada Games

00:04:36 - Take us through a regular day for an athlete at the Games. What was the competition like for you?

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Partial Transcript: Um hmm, it was…. the competition itself was great just because at the time you have your top athletes in the province that are going to be representing the, your province. Right?

Segment Synopsis: Danielle discusses what it was like to compete against other larger provinces in her swim competitions. She also explains her mentality as an athlete, and how that impacted her socialization with other athletes.

Keywords: Athletes; Competition; Friends; Maritimes; School; Swim

Subjects: Athlete Mentality in Competitions; Friendships at the Canada Games

00:12:28 - Which memories stand out when you reminisce about the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: Uh yeah, uh when we were in PEI it was like…. Like I said we didn't really do much other than eat, sleep, and whatnot.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle tells one particular story that stands out in her memory of her time at the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

Keywords: Coach; Fun; Puddles; Swim

Subjects: Friendships at the Canada Games

00:16:23 - Do you still keep in contact with any of the people you met through the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, actually one of my best friends, she was on the Saint John team and she was on the Canada Games as well like we made it together which was fantastic.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle describes the friendships she had with her teammates at the Canada Games. She also talks about how those friendships developed afterwards, and whether or not they have remained in contact with one another.

Keywords: Friends; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia

Subjects: Career Impacts; Friendships at the Canada Games

00:22:25 - What was your pin collecting experience at the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah so, I remember we were getting ready to go... 'cause I've never been interested in collecting anything, I never had time to.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle talks about what it was like to trade and collect pins at the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

Keywords: Collect; New Brunswick; Pin(s)

Subjects: Friendships at the Canada Games; Pin collecting

00:25:55 - Are you an open water swimmer?

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Partial Transcript: So, I'm not, but one of my best friends at the time, well I shouldn't say at the time, we're still really good friends. But she was a open water swimmer.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle talks about open water swimming, as opposed to competing in indoor pools.

Keywords: Open water; Swimmer

00:26:41 - What was your experience at the Canada Games as a member of the First Nations?

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Partial Transcript: So, I was 17 at the time. So at that time I did identify as First Nations. Um, I'm half Dene and Cree and then my mom's um, is well the other half is just Irish, German and everything else you can put in there from Europe, right?

Segment Synopsis: Danielle talks about identifying as First Nations while competing at the 2009 Canada Summer Games, and her relationship with other Indigenous athletes and their parents.

Keywords: Aboriginal; Ethnicity; First Nations; Indigenous; Native

Subjects: Friendships at the Canada Games; Inclusivity in Sport; Indigenous/First Nations relations; Unity through Sport

00:33:51 - Do you feel the Canada Games had an impact on your future?

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Partial Transcript: I think it has in some ways like it's hard to say like for me the Canada Games was a good milestone. It was something that I wanted to do before I aged out of it...

Segment Synopsis: Danielle discusses how the sport of swimming prepared her for adulthood, and the difficulties she faced in making the transition into post-secondary life.

Keywords: Olympics; Swimming; University

Subjects: Career Impacts; Transitioning out of the Canada Games

00:40:18 - What do the Canada Games mean to you?

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Partial Transcript: I think that the Games are a wonderful opportunity. I would say as an athlete when you first go, it's kind of like "oh I made it" and like I said, for me it was just kind of a step, it was a stepping stone...

Segment Synopsis: Danielle talks about how the Canada Games brings athletes, coaches, volunteers, and families together from different provinces and territories.

Keywords: Athlete; Coach; Friends

Subjects: 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara; Athlete Mentality in Competitions; Friendships at the Canada Games; Unity through Sport

00:48:17 - What are you looking forward to most about the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara?

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Partial Transcript: I'm kind of excited just for all of it. I haven't been to a sporting event in years like I, I was exhausted after I finished and I kind of and I didn't know, like I said you're finding your own way. Tt's like you're stepping out to the real world for the first time.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle talks about some of the things that she's excited about seeing at the upcoming 2022 Canada Summer Games, as well as some of the things she has been involved with through Brock University.

Keywords: Athletes; Indigenous

Subjects: 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara; Indigenous/First Nations relations

00:48:36 - What were your experiences with mental health at the Canada Games, and as an athlete in general?

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Partial Transcript: It's actually quite yeah like you're saying it's quite common for athletes to actually have a certain amount of mental health problems after their sport.

Segment Synopsis: Danielle discusses some of the struggles she experienced with her mental health in the years following the Canada Games. She mentions, in general, the broader issues that athletes deal with when transitioning out of their professional sporting careers.

Keywords: Anxiety; Body type; Depression; Mental Health; Resources; Sport; Training; University

Subjects: Body Image; Mental Health