Olympic Games: five things to know about Florent Manaudou, first bearer of the flame

Olympic Games: five things to know about Florent Manaudou, first bearer of the flame
Olympic Games: five things to know about Florent Manaudou, first bearer of the flame

Florent Manaudou, four-time Olympic medalist, will be the first torchbearer on French soil in Marseille this Wednesday.

The flame will land on a floating athletics track installed for the occasion.

Here are five things to know about the 2012 Olympic 50m freestyle champion.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

It’s the moment everyone is waiting for this Wednesday, May 8. Once the Belem is moored in the Old Port in Marseille, the ceremony welcoming the Olympic flame will enter its critical phase. Swimmer and Olympic champion Florent Manaudou, the first torchbearer on French soil, will walk, torch in hand, on a floating athletics track. Around 7:40 p.m., the 33-year-old athlete will then head towards the crowd before lighting the cauldron, installed at the end of the pontoon. Florent Manaudou will take over from Laure Manaudou, his big sister, Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle in Athens in 2004, who carried the flame after its lighting in Greece at Olympia on April 16.

The first Frenchman to win a gold medal in the 50m freestyle

Florent Manaudou, quadruple Olympic medalist, became the first French Olympic champion in history in the 50m freestyle, in 2012 in London. He was then 21 years old. Twelve years later, at the Paris Games, the swimmer will try to win a fourth Olympic medal in his favorite race. The swimmer with an impressive physique – 1.99 m and 99 kilos – also believes in the chances of the 4×100 m medley relay to secure a podium.

“When I embark on a project, it’s to win medals. I’m starting to be a fairly old, experienced athlete (…) so we’ll see what happens. In any case, I’m preparing for win the Olympic Games”, he explains to TF1. The athlete is quite confident about his chances: “I’m sure of good ways. I have opponents, I can’t control them, but I can control the performance and so far everything is fine.”

A license from the Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille

Florent Manaudou, born in Villeurbanne (Rhône) on November 12, 1990, took off at the Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille, one of the most famous swimming clubs in France of which he is still a member. “I have a lot of ties to Marseille. I spent 10 years of my life here, between 2011 and 2021. Marseille made me evolve as a man. I grew up in Marseille with this energy which is quite unique”, he declares about the Phocaean city. “He really wanted to give back to Marseille what Marseille had given him… Even while training in Antibes, he kept his license at the Cercle des Nageurs”, testifies on TF1 Paul Leccia, president of the Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille for 34 years.

The return of his former British coach

In Antibes, Florent Manaudou has had two coaches since October 2021: Quentin Coton and Yoris Grandjean, close friends. The swimmer has also reconnected since the start of 2023 with his former coach, James Gibson, who supervises his training, specifies The Team. During the title of Olympic champion in 2012, the Briton was already alongside the French swimmer, whom he describes as “serial winner” in daily sports life.

Support from the Army

The swimmer joined the ranks of the army in 2009, where he was assigned to the 68th African artillery regiment, in Ain. Benefiting from the status of “high-level sportsman”, Florent Manaudou represented the Army, particularly during military competitions. On https://twitter.com/armeedeterre/status/1425098646224347150the Army however indicated that Florent Manaudou “is no longer part of the Army of Champions (Editor’s note: a support program which welcomes more than 200 high-level defense athletes from the three armies) since October 2018”, even if “this does not prevent him from continuing to support the Army.”

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    Read also

    Olympic Games 2024: how Florent Manaudou appeared “obvious” to carry the flame to Marseille

Several television appearances

Will Florent Manaudou one day launch a career as an actor? The athlete has in any case made several appearances on television. He was notably seen in season 1 of the legal series Munch, in 2016, broadcast on TF1. He was also seen for an episode of the series Research section, broadcast on TF1 on March 22, 2018, where he played a French swimming hopeful. Like other athletes, Florent Manaudou also appeared in ASterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdomreleased in 2023.


Julien CHABROUT

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