Can you introduce yourself ?
I am Christian Cordier, retired PE teacher for 4 years. I am passionate about Olympism, and have always wanted to share its values with people who do not necessarily have access to them. I went to Lima in 2017 when the Paris 2024 Games were announced with Tony Estanguet and the Olympic Committee, for a humanitarian project for slums. We deposited 350 kg of equipment there, rebuilt classrooms, and we organized a great event there on the occasion of obtaining the Games for Paris 2024, with a popular race. And the next day, we introduced Teddy Riner to the Peruvian judo sections.
Can you present the association 733 and recall its genesis?
As a PE teacher, I have always been interested in transmitting the values of sport and Olympism. In 2016, the film “The Color of Victory”, which traces the exploits of Jesse Owens, was released, and I asked my principal if it was possible to organize a screening with my students. In front of the reactions of the students, who applauded each victory of Jesse, I organized others and in 2017, I participated in the launch of l’association 733 Jesse Owens. Then in 2018, I started interventions in schools to promote the film.
The objective was to perpetuate the memory of Jesse Owens and keep track of his career as a historical fact. It was the 1is African-American to win 4 gold medals, putting a snub on Hitler who was in the stands in 1936. Through the themes developed in the film, I also wanted to transmit to the youngest the culture of sport and the values of olympism.
What actions are you carrying out in schools with the association?
We continue to promote the film in the classrooms. the LAME got in touch with us and made the film available for free on its platform so that teachers can obtain it in agreement with Luc Dayan, co-producer of the film and copyright holder. On our side, we go through the establishments of the cities which have the “Land of games” label to present the film and organize debates. Our audience ranges from CM2 to college students, as part of the citizen journey.
We participated in the realization of a educational notebook labeled by the National Education so that teachers can work upstream on the subject with their classes. After the screening, we also organize a debate with the students. I am sometimes accompanied by high-level athletes, as recently in the Val-de-Marne where the department asked me to intervene with a taekwondo champion, a cycling medalist or even the squash world champion.
I also involve, when possible, Paralympic athlete Aladji Ba, a blind sprinter who took part in three editions of the Paralympic Games.
Why is it important to teach young people about the life and exploits of Jesse Owens?
Most young people today are only interested in football. It is to open their minds to the history and culture of sport and the Games, and it is also to highlight Olympism.
Teachers have a duty of transmission, but in the 1is degree, the problems of teachers are sometimes very far from these themes. They have a lot of work, they are very busy and they are constantly asked to do more. We offer media to get the message across, because Olympism is made up of so many great stories that you can’t ignore.
Why “733”? This was the bib number that Jesse Owens wore at the 1936 Olympics.