I can’t think of a more accessible local celebrity than George St Pierre. The Quebec-born professional mixed martial artist and former UFC world champion is recognized as one of the planet’s best pound-for-pound MMA fighters and all around athlete. GSP lives in Montreal but travels the world to train with the best coaches and training partners in all disciplines. For the record I’ve seen him 3 times in the past couple of months and he is by far the most happy-go-lucky guy on the celebrity circuit, provided you don’t get caught up in the mix with his sparring buddies :/ Let’s just say they’re banking off HIS fame and plan to keep it that way.
On a cold, crisp yet sunny Friday morning (yes AM!) I made my way to Montreal’s legendary Tristar Gym (5275 Rue Ferrier) for the “Get in the Cage” event, courtesy of 1 milk 2 sugars PR firm. Out of an impressive 5,000 entrants who participated in the Bacardi contest, Torontonian Matthew Dunbar won the grand prize. Dunbar and five friends won a trip to live their dream of getting in the cage to train with the one and only Georges St-Pierre (GSP). 11 am struck and it was time to put my ‘breakfast of champions’ aside and head to the octagon. From the ringside his 1 hour workout consisted of a quick warm up, down on the matt stretching exercises followed by some basic wrestling moves. And yes, it was tailored to perfection.
Funny how this experience kept taking me back to my high school days when wrestling was part of the curriculum and my scrawny 4’9” frame would somehow always end up sparring with a way bigger opponent… ugh. Since then I’ve never been a fan of getting into someone’s face, let alone take a beating from it. The goal here though was for Matt and his friends to meet George and walk away from this physical and cerebral experience having learned something – there’s no point getting into a ring if you’re not mentally, physically and strategically well prepared to win a fight. Yes, in that order!
Wise decision to make Georges St-Pierre the official Social Responsibility Ambassador for Bacardi Canada. “GSP’s strong will, self-control and determination go hand-inhand with the Bacardi message of moderate and responsible drinking. Where Bacardi and GSP really connected was around the idea of ‘Respecting Yourself, Being Yourself, and Knowing Your Limits’. This message was an extremely powerful connection point with our consumers,” explains Nadine Iacocca, Brand Director, Bacardi Rums, Bacardi Canada Inc. “It is undisputable that GSP is a widely admired Canadian icon with a positive and highly respected personality; both important traits for representing Bacardi Canada as our Social Responsibility Ambassador.”