Joris Daudet, one of the top BMX players on the world circuit, will try at 30 to break his curse of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, after two painful failures in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016. Twice world champion and barded by medals in major competitions, the Frenchman had been the victim of falls during his previous Olympic attempts, at the level of the semi-finals in London and the quarter-finals in Rio. But he does not hold it against the Games: “
Participating in the Olympics is a childhood dream, that of any high level athlete. Since I was a kid, I love to watch. It's full of twists and turns, we discover small nations, great athletes, confidential sports. It's a whole universe and it's unique. VS'
is a concentrate of everything that makes sport so beautiful. "
The full Olympic program
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But he is one of the athletes for whom the postponement of the Tokyo Games for one year was beneficial: seriously injured at the 2019 World Championships (wrist, collarbone and fractured ribs), he was only able to resume training at the beginning of 2020. , and the competition in October. A native of Saintes, where he discovered BMX at the age of nine, this father has been living in the United States, California since 2013, where he races for the team of cycle manufacturer Chase. He arrives in Tokyo perfectly prepared: “
I moved to Florida three months ago to train in climatic conditions that look like here. So the preparation is good, the job is done, it remains to have fun and give the maximum,
Another Frenchman with a complicated history with the Olympics, Sylvain André, champion of France and third in the last Worlds in 2020, also hopes to win the Grail. Twice replacing in London and Rio, he knows that at 28, his chances of running in Paris 2024 are low. “
This is probably my last chance to make the Games, and now I know that I can do something and win a medal, without being pretentious, but just because I've done it before,
” he said. On the women's side, Manon Valentino at 30 wants to build on her 2016 Olympic experience: "
I learned a lot from Rio, she said, despite my fall in the final, I gained a lot of experience.
I will try to be a little more patient on the track (...) but I am much more mature and I have no apprehension
Freestyle starts at the Games
In the freestyle event, which makes its Games debut, only nine boys and nine girls are in contention. A ruthless selection but ... one in three chance of a medal for the lucky ones! If no French could qualify for Tokyo, Montpellier's Anthony Jeanjean, European champion in 2019, will carry the hopes of the France team on July 29 and August 1 at the Ariake urban sports park in Tokyo. . His replacement in the event of failure is Istivan Caillet. One of his main rivals will be the Japanese Rim Nakamura, winner of the general classification of the 2019 World Cup, who will have the advantage of playing on his home soil. But, among men, the density of the group of selected leaves all options open for the podium.
In this sport born in the United States, which marks the advance of the Olympic Games towards a new more urban culture, “
” compete on obstacles such as walls, jumping modules and spines. They must perform acrobatic figures rated according to their difficulty, originality, height, execution and creativity.