Olympic champion in 2012 and the 2013 World 4x100m freestyle relay, the French swimmer, sprinter and high-flying, just retired and is planning a lot of new projects.
Amaury, A few days left before experiencing the world championships swimming school, from April 16 to April 21 in Poznan, Poland, How do you feel?
It is a pride, an honor and a breath of fresh air to go out there to support the school sport movement. In France, I believe that we do not talk enough or too little about that, and it is regrettable. Many champions come from the school and the UNSS has done so much in this direction to promote the school sport.
You participated in Gymnasiade in Caen with UNSS, what memories do you keep?
A great joy! For me, it was mostly an opportunity to participate in my first international championship, and have a taste of small Olympic Games and values among young athletes in the areas of athletics, swimming or gym. Many athletes who performed there in 2002 then had a great professional career. Personally, it was a dream for me to participate. It was not easy because I just injured myself four months before the Gymnasiade. Yet, I was qualified for the championships of France. So my feet would not touch the ground. When My mother was informed about my qualification, her only concerned was “that’s fine, my son, but when you get home? “(Laughs).
You participated in UNSS championships. Looking back then, what comes to mind?
An anecdote: I was given a beautiful swimsuit but it would not fit at allregarding my size (laughs). More, seriously, what comes to my mind is the human adventure. Sharing, friendship, competition. When I realized the atmosphere, the crowd, the chills it produced, it is something incredible. And I do recall as well the sound of the French Hymn … A great emotion.
Could you state that they were the grassroots of your great career?
Maybe. Hard to say. The sport is the school of life! The values conveyed by the school sport and therefore, by UNSS and ISF are strong and beautiful: sharing, tolerance, self-esteem, generosity, openness, friendship, brotherhood.
You care a lot about youth and sport? Why is so?
I would have never imagined living all I lived.I just want to show that wherever you are from, whatever you do, you can chase your dream and make them come true. In other countries as France, the United States, for example, but not only, school sport is an important part of culture. In France, this is not the case. Sport is not, in my opinion, valued enough. The more we focus on opportunities given to the youth, the gretaer chance they have to enroll a sport career. It is a matter of structure, mentality and also political will.
How do you live locally these world championships? Advising French young people involved?
I just want to be with them, coach them somehow, get involved and support them. It is also a new experience for me.
ISF WSC Swim Cup: https://www.facebook.com/ISFWSCswimcup
Amaury Twitter: https://twitter.com/aleveaux