Teddy Riner, appointed captain of a team of 33 athletes sponsored by the equipment manufacturer Decathlon, has set himself the task of creating “group spirit” among the athletes and to bring them to the Paris Olympics in 2024 ” in the best conditions “.
“I will give them advice, ways to handle pressure, something I knew very early on”said three-time Olympic judo champion Tuesday evening to the press, on the sidelines of the presentation of the “Team Decathlon” in Paris.
“I don’t want the team to be attacked by stress. I want us to be in the best conditions to succeed in these Games and not miss out. I know that the pressure will come but you have to know how to manage it, you have to anticipate it now. »
“When you arrive with a team like that, it creates cohesion. You create a group spirit and behind, the results are not the same”he added.
Vincent Gérard and Romain Cannone present in the team
Teddy Riner was named in May captain of “Team Decathlon”, a team bringing together 33 athletes that the brand will support until Paris 2024. The list unveiled on Tuesday includes women and men from various Olympic and Paralympic sports.
There are several young talents who will be aiming for their first Olympic participation such as the swimmer Mary-Ambre Moluh, 17, or the shooter, 20, Camille Jedrzejewski, but also more experienced athletes like the handball goalkeeper Vincent Gérard or of the fencer Romain Cannone, titled at the Tokyo Games last year.
This role of captain, however, did not come innately to Teddy Riner. “I was always the youngest, because of my precocity. I started to understand that people wanted to talk when I saw that other athletes and some coaches were talking to me.he explained.
“Today, I do it naturally. But at the start, when I was in the France team when I was very young, I was embarrassed to give advice because it’s not my role. Today I have the shoulders for it, but at the start, it was not easy”he continued.