Settled in the United States for a year and a half, Léon Marchand wants to pursue his career as a swimmer while continuing his studies in computer science. “It’s important to do both,” he says, referring to his daily life between lessons, reviews, training and competitions.
«Swimming already takes a lot of time so when I get home I don’t feel like thinking about it. I want to clear my head a bit“, tells AFP the young man of 20 years, student-swimmer at the University of Arizona State. “When I have a lesson after training, it really allows me to think about other things, and when I come back to training afterwards, I am more relaxed, more serene.».
A year and a half after arriving in Phoenix to train under Bob Bowman, the man who led Michael Phelps to 23 Olympic titles, Léon Marchand is now familiar with Arizona.
Training at six in the morning
Shared with four other swimmers in a house located about ten minutes’ drive from campus, the Toulousain has a well-regulated program which begins with getting up at 5 a.m. for a first training session at 6 a.m. ” At 6 o’clock, you have to be in the water otherwise you really get yelled at, it’s strict here in terms of scheduleshe smiles.
Morning workout, breakfast, siesta. Then classes – between two and three hours a day -, meals, afternoon training, stretching, bodybuilding… “Then I go home and do my homework. The day starts early but at least we end early enough and we have time to do our homework, go to bed early and enjoy the evening».
Paris 2024 objective
«It’s not easy because I’m in a programming degree. It’s already one of the most difficult to manage when you only do that, so it’s true that when you swim at the same time, it’s quite difficult“Explains the Toulousain, who is currently completing the second year of his American course. “So far I’m doing really well… Everything’s going well, but you have to work hard!»
A year and a half before the Olympic Games in Paris, where he should be one of the big stars in the La Défense Arena basin, he is however considering reducing his course program for 2024.That way I will have more time to recover after training“, he explains. “It will be more +focus+ on swimming even if I will still have lessons on the side to have my balance.»