Mr. Bernard Petiot is Vice-President, Casting and Performance at Cirque du Soleil. After discovering artistic gymnastics as a child, Bernard followed his passion all the way to the Canadian university circuit, where he won numerous titles including “Athlete of the Year” from Québec City’s Université Laval in 1975. Then, along with one of his professors, he founded Club Salto, where he created the women’s gymnastics program and coached for eight years.
Upon completing his Master’s degree, while teaching at Université de Montréal, Bernard was recruited by Montréal’s Club Gymnix to take the reins of the advanced gymnastics program. In 1997, he created an advanced training program for coaches at the National Multisport Centre in Montréal as part of the National Coaching Certification Program. Bernard’s career as a coach was prolific: in addition to taking part in 13 World Championships, he trained four Olympic athletes, more than any other Québec coach. In 1998, Cirque du Soleil recruited Bernard to lead its training studio, directing training programs for acrobats and supervising coaches and medical staff.