On the recommendation of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), the athletes and their entourage participating in the Olympic Games are called upon to be vaccinated quickly. The French Athletics Federation is therefore following the same path, encouraging its athletes to do so quickly, even if there is no obligation. Most of the Blues will be vaccinated, but prefer not to say so publicly. Alexis Miellet, three-time defending French champion in the 1500m and qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games over the distance, agreed to explain his decision. He received his first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine earlier this week.
Why did you choose to be vaccinated against Covid-19?
Quite simply because it will be much easier to get around, to take the plane, with the Olympic Games in addition in a short time. Even in Japan, everything will be easier too, I think, by being vaccinated.
Everything went well ?
Very good, no side effects, I received a dose of Pfizer so no worries about possible thrombosis. But even if I had received the Astra Zeneca, I wouldn’t have been worried. I had a little pain in my arm like tetanus or some other vaccine. But I know that it is especially after the second dose that there is a risk of fatigue.
Are you afraid of contracting the virus?
A priori, I have little chance of developing a serious form of the disease (note: Alexis Miellet has just celebrated his 26th birthday). But we never know. I think I would have been vaccinated no matter what, but with my status as a top athlete, it is an additional pressure. Especially if having COVID prevents me from being able to train normally. I can’t afford to stop for five or six days with a 40 ° C fever.
Wanted to go fast for the first injection, thinking about your schedule until the Olympics?
That’s it. I would have liked to go even faster, to receive the first dose two weeks ago, but it was not possible. There is at least a month’s delay before the second injection. It would therefore fall on June 4, but it falls during a period of competition. I would like to move to June 10 to be quiet. The basic idea is to absolutely avoid the days leading up to the French athletics championships (in Angers on June 26 and 27) because I want to be on top there. If I can get the second shot of the vaccine the day after a competition, that would be great. I know that afterwards, I have a quieter day or two in terms of training.
Objective of the French championships, therefore, before the great discovery, your first Olympic Games …
For the moment, I am qualified it is true but not yet officially selected by the Federation. Nothing is taken for granted in life even if there is no reason for it to go wrong. That’s why I want to be strong at the French championships. Already to keep my title over 1500m and to show that I deserve my selection. The big time will not be the priority objective.
What will your ambitions be in Tokyo?
I will go round by round. Like I said, nothing is taken for granted. I would like to qualify for the final already, after having tasted the semi-finals at the last world championships in Doha in 2019. These will be my first Olympics but I will not be in the discovery because I have already done the Universiade ( editor’s note: silver medal over 1500m in 2017) which are in the same format as the Games. I know the village, the atmosphere. So it is sure that these Games will be strange, without French supporters in particular… But it remains the Olympics and there will be no problem for motivation. It won’t be the dream Games of course, but I’m going 100%!