Carrie Boudreau was seven months away from realizing her dream and putting years of training and hard work to use.

A U.S.A. World Team weightlifter and powerlifter, Boudreau would spend up to three hours per day for a minimum of four days per week in a gym in Georgia where she was training.

“It took me five years of training just to get to the world team,” said the 45-year-old Raymond native and current resident. “To even be on the World Team, you had to be ranked in the top seven in the country.”

Boudreau, still a Masters record holder as of May 2012, according to mastersweightlifting.org, was on her way to becoming an Olympian in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Then came May 16, 2003. She was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Rounds of chemotherapy left her once strong body weak. She was also told it had likely robbed her ability to have children.

Boudreau was devastated.

“I gave up my spot for the Olympic Trials to a teammate because there was a better chance for her to score more points.  The more points for Team U.S.A. means more people to the Olympics.”

Her voice becomes somber and drops when talking about the Olympics.

“It makes me sad; real sad,” she said.

But her spirit did not keep her from the Pan-American Games in July 2003, nor did it keep her from the National Championship two days after her diagnosis.

“Everyone thought I was crazy,” she said. “But I worked hard to get on this team, and I was going to compete!”

By 2004, her cancer was gone, and she was back chasing the dream of becoming an Olympian.

Yet there was one more thing stopping the determined 5-foot blonde with piercing blue eyes.

Against all odds, she was pregnant.

“Oh my gosh, she’s a miracle. Alice is a miracle,” said Boudreau about her daughter. “She fulfills my life like nothing else could.”

When Alice was 1 year old, Boudreau started lifting again.

But the now Falmouth Middle School science teacher could not catch a break. Her breast cancer came back in 2007 with vengeance.

This time it was metastatic and had spread to her lung and abdominal cavities, and ovaries.

After another round of chemo and a bout of radiation, Boudreau is cancer-free.

She left competitive weightlifting but has turned her goals to other athletic endeavors.

An avid mountain biker and trail runner, she competes in tough mountain challenges and triathlons.

Sunday was her fifth year doing the Tri for a Cure in South Portland.

“My first Tri for a Cure was a celebration of my first year in remission from metastatic cancer. This is my fifth year and my fifth year in remission!”

Boudreau has found that training for triathlons and obstacle courses has taken her mind off of losing her Olympic dream and changed her focus.

“I used to go out there and be competitive and always try to place.  Now, I don’t really try to compete. I just go to have fun. It’s all about being healthy and being able to do it.”


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