The Games, 9,700 km away.
During the entire Olympic fortnight, the world will live on Tokyo time.
And despite the distance and the time difference, Ile-de-France will also vibrate to the rhythm of the exploits of its athletes.
Through portraits, reports, interviews and pretty stories, we will tell you daily how the Games are experienced from the capital region.
Because even in Tokyo, you always need a little bit of Paris in your life.
In Tokyo, the skateboarders made a remarkable entry into the Olympics last night. Nearly 10,000 km away, Esteban and his pal Tien feel very lonely on their skateboard. The Parisian rain swept under the roof of the skatepark of Bercy (12th arrondissement), all the sportsmen of Sunday morning. Seven joggers kill time with chased footsteps, young women wave their tight leggings on a frenzied salsa, a boxing coach makes his student sweat, a handful of kids scratch the ramps with their scooters and taggers paint the colors a little more. places already covered in graffiti.
Like all fans crossed Sunday morning, Esteban did not wake up at 5:25 am to watch live the first skate final in the history of the Olympic Games. The teenager from Annecy (Haute-Savoie) discovered on the Internet, when he got up, the coronation of the Japanese Yuto Horigome, the fourth place of the French Vincent Milou and the sixth of Aurélien Giraud whom he has already met in Lyon. “I find this arrival at the Olympics good because it shows everyone that skateboarding is a real sport and not just a hobby. My parents, for example, often tell me that it is time for me to do a sporting activity… ”he jokes, in his regular outfit: loose black pants, matching flat sneakers and a large light gray shirt. From the top of his 16 years, Esteban admits being unable to do the "Tre Flip fifty",succeeded in the final by Vincent Milou. “It's very high level. But out of competition I'm sure he does much more awesome stuff. This is the limit of the exercise, ”he says,“ admiringly ”.
"Above all a state of mind and not a competition"
His friend Tien, with whom he has just spent the week browsing all the surf spots in the capital, growls in front of these squatters who take breaks while sitting on the modules.
He does not share the enthusiasm of his friend.
For him, skateboarding is “above all a state of mind and not a competition”.
“It's weird to put notes… I'm impressed if I get a face in front of my eyes, on a bench or a rail, unless I see it on TV on competition equipment.
It's the artistic aspect that I like in skateboarding, not so much knowing who is the best, ”explains this reserved boy, who also fears that Olympic media coverage will attract“ too many people ”to skateboarding places.
Soaked pants, Marc, a 29-year-old Parisian, is the arbiter of this debate that agitates the entire skateboarding community. In 2015, a petition was posted online denouncing the institutionalization of the discipline. He sums up: "On specialized forums, there are a lot of criticisms about the fact that professionalization is contrary to the spirit of a discipline synonymous with freedom which is practiced for free in the street and which is open to all". This beginner, who started skateboarding during confinement "to stretch his legs", promises to watch the Olympic final in replay after lunch. “A lot of good skateboarders make videos on YouTube or Instagram, it's no different,” he notes, hoping that the spotlight will motivate cities to increase quality equipment for amateurs.
Hanging from their backpack, Ania and John's boards are protected from the rain in a plastic cover from the Supreme brand. Arriving in Bercy, these two Polish tourists are talking about Yuto Horigome, the first Olympic champion in history: "I think he's the best in the world, it's normal that he won" . The debate between Esteban and Tien leaves them unmoved. For the teenager, the Olympics are “an incredible opportunity for the entire skate community”. 20 minutes by metro away, Place de la République, Jules is more severe. “It's a collective discipline, not an individual sport. Skateboarding must make you humble, ”says one who fears a race for the ego of the stars. "Already that some are completely lacking in modesty on their social networks ...", regrets the young Parisian of 18 years.