A Moment With Marie-Lou Morin: From Cruise Ships To The Olympics
By Anna Robb
Marie-Lou Morin is training for Tokyo 2020 as part of the Canadian National Synchronized Swimming Team. Prior to this intense training regime, Marie-Lou was on a cruise ship performing onstage as part of the Harmony of the Seas aquatic show for Royal Caribbean. She took a moment out of her training to give a quick insight into her life.
Marie-Lou, you are training for the next Olympics in Synchronized Swimming, but prior to this you spent some time performing, can you tell us about your journey?
I have been on the National Synchronized Swimming team in Canada for the past eight years. Unfortunately, we did not qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics, so I decided to start a new adventure and enroll to be a performer on cruise ship shows. I helped to create the new Royal Caribbean aqua show for the Harmony of the Seas. It was a 9-month contract. We travelled through Europe, and it was a great experience. It was a very different life from being an athlete.
Was this your first venture into live performance and could you talk about any similarities between performing and competing in Synchronized Swimming?
I am used to performing in international competitions or for shows for family and friends. This was very different because it was more than just synchro swimming. It was a great challenge. The life and training regime was definitely much easier on the cruise ship and the shows were also a lot easier than I was used to when I was competing. It was a nice change.
Have you had any acting or character training? If yes, explain. If no, how did you work on your character, performance presence onstage?
I had completed a theatre class last year. It really helped me be more open and outgoing with my characters on the ship. I think it helped me enjoy the shows more and give 110%.
Would you tell us a little about life working on a cruise ship?
It is a very mellow life. You get to travel and make friends from all over the world and you get to perform at night for audiences that are always very pleased and appreciative of your work. It can get a bit long sometimes, living on the ship for 7 months at a time, but overall it’s a cool experience.
Did you learn any new skills or techniques on the ship that can be applied back to synchro?
No, not really. All the skills I had to be able to perform and adapt to the ship, I learned from synchro.
Will you plan to return to live entertainment/performance after competing at the Olympics?
Perhaps, it depends on where I am in my life at that point. I do have many other projects I want to accomplish after my sports career.
What is your favourite live show/concert that you have attended?
I always loved going to see Cirque du Soleil shows.
How does preparation for the Olympics occur? Who decides on your routine? What are the training hours?
It’s a very long and hard process, but rewarding. Just competing internationally and representing your country is a great feeling. We usually create the routines with the help of our coach. The coach gives us the structure she would like and we find the movements. We train 6 days a week, about 8 hours minimum. During the Olympic year we have two trainings per day, and we start at eight o’ clock in the morning and finish around seven o’ clock at night.
How did you get into synchro swimming?
I was a very active kid and decided to try it for fun. I always loved the water. and somehow, it stuck with me!
What does the future hold for Marie-Lou?
Hopefully the Olympics, but overall, happy moments, and just following my heart.