Although the organizers proudly praise the merits of the “first artificial course in Japan”, Martin Thomas will not be sensitive to the swirling but artificial waters of the Kasai Rinkai park in Tokyo, where he will compete in the slalom on Monday (from 7 am in the morning in France).
“Today, the smallest whitewater stadium is concrete or plastic, I did not want to canoe for that at the base, he says.
As soon as I can, I return to a natural basin.
What I love is being on a real river.
The calm and calm voice of the 2019 European vice-champion, qualified for Japan after a very close duel with the Olympic champion of Rio Denis Gargaud, is strengthened when one addresses one of the subjects that touches him the most.
The child of Jarnac (Charente) plague against these pollutants "trips to the four corners of the world" of a high level sport "not thought to be compatible with the ecological.
There is work to be done in this area, and I want to use my image as an athlete to try to raise awareness ”.
"In some places, you are careful not to drink the cup"
His experience as well.
Paddling all over the place, Martin Thomas observes the impact of pollution on rivers at the level of his canoe.
"Just on the stream where I started, I constantly see water bottles or plastic cans while there was very little waste before, annoys the 31-year-old athlete. .
And again, we are not so bad in Europe.
When we go elsewhere, this is where we realize that rivers are the garbage cans of cities.
In Prague, it is very polluted.
When I sail there, I drink Coke afterwards to avoid getting sick.
In some places, you are careful not to drink the cup, because you do not know how you will be after… ”
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So, the 31-year-old céiste hammers out his message.
In his interviews.
On his social networks.
“I don't want to lecture, but just to highlight something that we are not able to see, because very few people travel the rivers.
Afterwards, we sensitize ourselves by thinking of the impact that it can have.
When you eat a fish caught in the sea, you have to imagine that your body contains what you have thrown back into the water.
20 days of trekking up to more than 5000 m altitude in the Andes
Three weeks after the Olympics, Martin Thomas will return to the water. Not for canoeing, but for kitesurfing, the sport of his partner Armelle Courtois, who aims to participate in Paris 2024 for the discipline's first Olympic. The couple embarked on the project, called "Riding to explore", to go sailing on the highest lakes in the world. After a first stage in the Alps last summer, the two athletes will reach the Andes, for 20 days of trek up to more than 5000 m of altitude.
“No one has ever done it, it will be physically demanding,” explains the athlete.
We go to these lakes, because they appeared less than ten years ago, on the glacier front.
These retreat, and leave beautiful and visual puddles that we want to kite to show the impact of global warming.
In ten years, there will be other lakes even higher.
We give the floor to glaciologists, and we expose this reality by using high-level sport.
From these trips, completed by a third stage in the Himalayas, two films were born.
But in the meantime, the one whose YouTube history is populated with videos of triple Olympic champion Tony Estanguet - "his model" - is not talking about gold, but simply about a medal.
There is a worse platform than an Olympic podium to carry a message.