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Romain Valadier-Picard, hope of French judo, will be present at the Grand Slam of Paris-Bercy which takes place on February 5 and 6. He is part of the new generation of French judokas who could shine at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Like a hurdler, Romain Valadier-Picard overcomes obstacles with agility. At 20, the young man seems to be riding the wave that could take him to the tatami mats of Paris 2024.
In 2022, still a junior, he took his first steps among “the big ones”, finishing third in the Budapest Grand Slam. Romain Valadier-Picard is also twice on the third step of the podium among juniors in the World Championships. He won the title of European champion.
« It is competition that makes progress »
Romain Valadier-Picard begins the year 2023 with an appointment in front of his audience at the Palais omnisport de Bercy, enough to give him wings, he who fights in the lightest category among seniors. Already present in Paris in 2021, he had obtained a bronze medal.
« This Grand Slam in Paris is an opportunity for me to perform and give my all to be able to be at the Olympic Games in France. But at my age, I know I can qualify for the Games in 2028 and even 2032. That’s my long-term goal. “, he says serenely.
Among the tricolors, the category of less than 60 kilos is very dense, and the competition particularly tough. If this is an opportunity for France, it is a challenge for Romain Valadier-Picard, who knows that a place in the Games is to be won at the price of gold. ” It is competition that makes progress », relativizes the one who must continue to build a physique, without losing his qualities of movement and speed. ” I always liked to win. I won quickly and I liked it », recalls without pretension this brilliant student, baccalaureate with honors in his pocket, who combines high level sport and engineering studies.
This fast-paced life, where his agenda is as dense as a successful singer on tour, Romain Valadier-Picard sees it as an opportunity to fulfill himself in life. He started judo at age six. Since then, the passion has only grown.
Sacrifices in his personal life
« During the Covid-19 lockdown, I realized how much I missed my sport. This allowed me to grow in my way of approaching judo. It was then that I understood that I wanted to continue, even if it requires sacrifices in my personal life. “, admits that he likes to stay in his bed a good part of Sundays to recover from these crazy weeks, with about 25 hours of training per week and his studies.
Romain Valadier-Picard embodies the present and the future of a category in full revival in France. “ I have to manage to put down my judo, without rushing. I tend to want to go too fast under the effect of stress, panic. I have to make the right attack at the right time, not attack to attack. If I manage to pass this level, I will go from good judoka to excellent “, concludes this young man with a well-made head. A goal within reach of ippon for those who consider that everyone is master of their own destiny.