Weapon: Foil
Hand: Right-handed
Born: Montréal, QC
Residence: Montréal, QC
Club: CRA

“I never lose: either I win, or I learn.” This quote from Nelson Mandela has come to embody two-time Olympian Maximilien Van Haaster. Born June 19, 1992 in Montreal, to parents Ian Van Haaster and Elsa Lo, Max always had a competitive spirit. It may be his love of medieval movies that brought him to the sport that he now spends up to 12 training sessions a week practicing, but it’s his will to win and ability to stay true to himself that helped him win two berths to the Games in Tokyo and Rio, not to mention take home two Pan-American silvers (Paraguay 2022, Cuba 2018) and the gold at a satellite World Cup (Mexico 2019). All this while earning degrees at McGill University and Université de Montréal in Kinesiology and Nutrition.

A proud Montréalais through and through, Max is still based in la metropole, which he considers the greatest city in the world, working with coach Julien Camus to earn Canada’s Olympic medal in men’s foil, or in any weapon for that matter. It also allows him to spend holidays with his family, sharing moments and large meals. In fact, Max credits his parents as the most profound influence in his life; they have made him and brother Émile into the unique and resilient people that we see today.

As a many-time CFF Athlete of the Year, Max counts on sponsors like CanFund and Leon Paul to help finance his travel and competitions. While not a superstitious person, Max can always be found the night before a competition thoroughly testing his equipment with a little bit of rap or EDM floating in the background. On competition day, there are no idols, only rivals, and Max relishes the chance to take down the biggest names in the sport, as he did with French legend Erwann Le Péchoux at the 2019 World Championships.

Even beyond his life as an athlete, Max is steeped in the world of sport. His long term career goal of working with athletes in sports nutrition keeps him among his people.