Daniel Marisi was born and raised in Saskatoon where, as a teenager, he gained considerable fame as an athlete (football, basketball, and wrestling). He got his master’s degree in phys-ed at Saskatchewan and then a PhD in educational psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Department of Physical Education at McGill in 1971 and helped define the department’s curriculum in motor learning, sport psychology, and research methodology. Jacques Dallaire was born in Oshawa and spent most of his early teenage years at nearby Mosport Park. He got his master’s in exercise science at the University of Ottawa and his PhD in exercise psychology at the University of Alberta. He joined McGill, where he met Marisi, and in 1983 they co-founded the McGill Motor Sport Research Group. From ’83 through ’99, they guided the mental training of nearly 500 high-performance racers from 35 countries, including 60 Canadians (Ron Fellows, Miguel Duhamel, Patrick Carpentier, Greg Moore and Scott Goodyear, among them). They were founding members of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences and their understanding of the role of physical conditioning and cognitive function, the limits of the human body and the opportunity to improve contributed in many ways to the significant developments in driver safety seen in recent years. In 1999, Dan Marisi died and Jacques Dallaire was faced with some difficult choices. In the end, he remained true to the vision created by the two of them. Since then, Jacques has made many television appearances to talk about their work and numerous TV and magazine features have focused on the work of Marisi and Dallaire.
Image courtesy of Jacques Dallaire.