Interview with Aiyanna Stiverne

Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Aiyanna Stiverne.


Okay, Mr. Tardif… (looking in the mirror) …with the 2020 Summer Olympics taking place from 24 July to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, it is time to get in shape. (Putting on the running shoes, t-shirt, and shorts) It starts today…but I think I need a little bit of inspiration. Who can I call to keep me “on track”? Perhaps my friend Aiyanna Stiverne.

Aiyanna Stiverne is a two-time Florida High School Athletic Association 4A Champion. In 2015, Stiverne represented Team Canada for the first time as a member of the 4x400m relay team which finished eighth at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. She competed individually in 2017 at the IAAF World Championships in the 400m. In 2018, Stiverne won the 400m at the Canadian championships in a personal best time less than an hour after she took silver in the 200m. She also stood on the 400m podium at the NACAC Championships. In 2019, sprinter Aiyanna Stiverne won silver with the 4x400m mixed relay team at the IAAF World Relays. I figure we can meet in the gym…have a quick talk and maybe have a little race on the track…what do you think Aiyanna Stiverne?”

1. Can you describe a typical training session? How do you mentally and physically get ready to sprint?

Typically a training session for me would be speed/endurance based. So that wouldn’t be something too long like repeat 500s and it wouldn’t something to short either. It would be some distance kind of in-between so maybe a 200 or 300. The focus is to make through the workout while hitting the times and getting the mileage in as well. This helps with endurance for competition.

As far as being mentally prepared, I journal after my tougher sessions and before the competition. It helps to write out your thoughts and set a race plan.

2. Your cousin, Bermane Stiverne, is a professional boxer. Would you consider Bermane is a role model or a source of inspiration? Please describe.

He’s definitely a source of inspiration especially because he reached the highest level in his sport. Of course, he’s not the only athlete I grew up around. My dad played football at the University of Miami and my coach, Ronald Morency, ran track as well. They’ve all been an inspiration to me while also being a great support system.

3. Can you tell us about some of your races and what you thought of the results?

Well, some of my favorite races this past season were 4x400m races in Yokohama, Japan, Lima, Peru, and Doha, Qatar. In Japan, we set the Canadian sprinter record in the mixed relay and won silver which was really exciting because one of my goals every season is to get into the record books.

It was also exciting because it was my first IAAF medal. I enjoyed Lima as well because we earned silver again and it was my first Pan-American Games.

World Championships in Doha was a bit tough for our relay because we ended up getting disqualified, but it was one of the best races we’ve had a world championship in a long time so it adds a little more excitement to the upcoming Olympic Games this summer.

We see the potential and hope to capitalize on it in Tokyo.

4. In 2019, you won the silver with the 4x400m mixed relay sprinter team at the IAAF World Relays? Can you talk about the race, your teammates, and how you all felt after the race? Congratulations!

The mixed relay was so much fun! As you could imagine it’s absolutely Nerve-racking to get out in front of so many people on such a huge stage. It’s even more nerve-racking to think about racing with men and trying to figure out a strategy that best fits your team. Luckily for us our team had a camp and we got a chance to bond and understand our roles as far as the mixed relay goes. We had to learn to trust each other and believe that this would work out.

With track and field, there’s a wide spectrum of age groups, different viewpoints, and approaches. As far as race strategy in training is concerned. So you have to blend the team together that all have the same goal which we did and we are really excited that we got a chance to metal as far as re-strategy and training are concerned. So you have to blend a team together that all have the same goal which we did and we were really excited that we got a chance to medal at a global event.

5. Just for fun. Aiyanna, what’s your favourite show on Netflix and why?

My absolute favourite show on Netflix is The Office. I’ve watched every single episode of every season and I think it’s hilarious. Dwight Schrute is my favourite character.

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Tags: Aiyanna Stiverne, track and field, Tokyo 2020, Olympics

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.