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Interview from Antoine Cantin

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March 12, 2019 : Interview with Speedsolving.com member Antoine Cantin : Currently (at the time of this interview) is ranked 4th in the world for 3x3x3 Blindfolded Average (21.18 seconds), 7th for 3x3x3 One-Handed Average (10.64 seconds), 32nd for 3x3x3 Average (7.08 seconds), ranked 8th for Sum of All ranks, and is currently overall one of the top speedsolvers in the world.

Screenshot 2019-03-12 13.20.27.png

Where are you from?

I am from a small majority francophone town just east of Ottawa, Canada

Occupation:

I am an Environmental Science student at the University of Ottawa. As i am in a cooperative education program, I do have other occupations between study terms, as I have worked at Environmental Canada, as a junior software developer and in an environmental engineering lab. I also work in my university residence as a "Residence Advisor".

What made you become interested in solving puzzles?

My first interest stems from my older brother, who originally learned from Louis Cormier (yes, the former Megaminx WR holder) around 10 years ago. After I learned, I simply wanted to improve to the point where I was faster than my brother, and got hooked into the community ever since.

What cubing goals do you currently have?

This is a very good question xD I don't really have important performance related goals very often or for a very long time, but I think that it would be good if I could get back into one-handed solving.

Out of the 76 competition you've attended so far, which one is most memorable and why?

Off the top of my head, I think Euros 2018 is the one that sticks out the most. It was the first time I travelled outside the country on my own, stayed and hung out with many amazing people and of course on top of that I totally unexpectedly and amazingly broke a non-WR.

What will the future of cubing be like and how would you like cubing to progress?

I think that cubing will continue to be more and more competitive than ever before, and there will be increasingly more money involved. However, I think that the turnover for top cubers might get a little slower, as past world-class times will remain in the realm of what is still at the top. Although it sounds a little hypocritical, given I have greatly benefited from sponsorships and such over the course of the years, I'm not sure I really like the idea of more money increasingly being a factor in the community. In my mind it could contribute to making the community much less open, collaborative and friendly, some of my favorite aspects of this sport.

So far, what has been your most enjoyable cubing experience?

Overall it's definitely the discovery that comes with it. Because of cubing, I have gone on many trips where I have met so many fantastic people, discovered new places, experiences and cultures. The two which first come to mind are the Latin America tour, as well as my exchange in China which might as well have been a cubing tour as well. During these experiences, I was also able to learn to speak Spanish and Mandarin, opening the door to so much of the world!

You're currently 4th on the sum of all ranks. What is your favorite event, why? What is your least favorite and why?

Well, currently I am 8th/9th for sum of ranks (I definitely took my time to answer haha). In any case, I think I would say my favorite event remains the classic OH for which I was originally known for. Other events have come and gone, and it isn't even my best event anymore, but OH will always remain my staple. I think my least favorite event is 5BLD, because it can be so discouraging to get DNFs which take so much time and effort to get through. Perhaps in the future if I practiced a bit this could change, but it's my least favorite at least for now.

In 5 years, where do you see yourself both in cubing and in life in general?

I don't see myself as being a top cuber in 5 years, as my relevance has been slowly diminishing over time. But I never really expected to suddenly (get an official result faster than the current WR at the time) last summer, so really anything can happen! That goes pretty well for my life in general as well. I don't have anything in mind for after I graduate, but I know that I am someone who likes to move around and do stuff so don't expected to stay put and do nothing!

What are your other hobbies?

Other that cubing, I would say that I end up spending most of my free time cooking, slowly working on language skills and planning for future trips/travels.

You're in China, what was your motivation to moving there and what do you expect to get out of it?

At this point, I have already returned from China. I had gone to Nanjing for a 5-month academic international exchange, taking classes related to my major, but in China. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn different sides of the academic issues, but also to explore, travel, learn about the different cultures, and meet new people. Oh and of course attend a few competitions and get myself to better know the Chinese cubing community which always seems to secluded from the rest of the world. Coming back, I would say it was an overwhelming success :)
 
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