Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Georges St-Pierre Talks Bullying and Chin-Up Records on Visit to Old High School

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Georges St-Pierre Talks Bullying and Chin-Up Records on Visit to Old High School

Article excerpt

St-Pierre's old high school honours UFC champ

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ST-REMI, Que. - Standing in the basement weight room that now bears his name, the ever-competitive Georges St-Pierre fought the temptation to try and match an old score: his own high-school chin-up record.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship title-holder, wearing a suit, wanted to see if he could still pull off 50 chin ups, like he did as a 16-year-old at Pierre-Bedard school. St-Pierre's record still stands in the 16-and-over category -- in fact, it remains posted on the weight room's wall.

"The thing is, because I'm dressed like this I can't show you, otherwise I would," St-Pierre, 31, said Thursday, after speaking to students there about, among other things, how to handle the challenges of bullying.

"I don't even know if I can do this today, you know if I'm (even) able to do 50 chin ups... I'm a better fighter now, but before maybe I was a better chin-up guy."

For the first time in years, the mixed-martial-arts star returned to his former high school south of Montreal, where the modest workout room was officially designated: Salle Georges St-Pierre.

The UFC welterweight champ also had another mission at Pierre-Bedard, which he graduated from more than a decade ago.

St-Pierre spoke to a gymnasium packed with some 500 students on how he overcame doubts about himself, fears about his menacing opponents and the challenges of being bullied as a kid.

"People see how I am now, but I wasn't always like this," he told the audience, which exploded in cheers when he walked into the gym in the rural community of St-Remi.

"While I was growing up, I wasn't very popular, I didn't have lots of friends, especially in elementary school."

He said older kids pushed him around and his grades suffered as a result.

St-Pierre, which started the Fondation Georges St-Pierre to combat bullying, spoke about the importance of teaching bullies how hurtful their actions can be.

He also told victims that many of the problems they face now will get easier after they graduate from school.

"Even though we have obstacles when we're young... it doesn't mean our life is sinking," said St-Pierre, who grew up in nearby St-Isidore. …

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