On the eve of the entry into the running of the French football team at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, Thursday (10 a.m. against Mexico), André-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin recount their life in the Olympic village in an interview with L ‘Team.
The strict health protocol and the extreme requirements to enter the Olympic village did not dampen the enthusiasm of André Pierre-Gignac and Florian Thauvin. The two Tigres de Monterrey players are enjoying every second of their adventure in Tokyo where they will start the Olympic tournament with the France team on Thursday against Mexico (10am).
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With Teji Savanier, they are one of the three players born before 1997 to this team built in difficulty following the numerous refusals of the clubs to release their proteges. But Gignac and Thauvin, close since their joint visit to Marseille (2013-2015), see great potential and the hope of winning a medal. In the meantime, they blend 100% into their Olympic experience with the discovery of the famous village bringing together all the athletes.
“There, we all eat together at the cafeteria with the other athletes”
It’s “folkloric!”, Gignac laughs in L’Equipe. “It’s really the Olympic spirit, he continues. We look at the equipment, all the flags, and we say to ourselves that this is it, let’s go. We see strong, less strong, we wonder between us what discipline they practice … It is to live, and we live it thoroughly. ” Florian Thauvin embraces: “It’s totally different from what we are used to knowing. Normally, we are in the green and we do not meet anyone. There, we all eat together in the cafeteria with the other athletes.”
The discovery of hotel rooms entertains them and changes them a little from their usual comfort. “We are in apartments which have several bedrooms, describes Gignac. Some are alone, others are lucky or unlucky to be two … The bedroom is just for sleeping because I really want to enjoy the village . In the evening, the weather is good, we walk around, we see amazed athletes, who film everything. It shows how lucky we are to compete in the Games. For nothing in the world I would not miss it, even if it is not not the usual conditions. And it’s nice, when an alarm goes off in the morning in a room, well everyone is awake! “
Gignac: “Bielsa said that I was an amateur who behaves like a pro”
“It’s not at all isolated,” laughs Thauvin. The closed session imposed by the organizers for all the events saddens Gignac a little, who would have dreamed of attending the 100 meters. “The 100 meters is a sick thing, he says. The guys prepare for four years and play everything in less than ten seconds … There are also the French hand, the United States basketball, lots of things that go back to childhood. I’m a sports fanatic and Marcelo Bielsa once said that I was an amateur who behaves like a pro. This sentence fascinates me because that’s exactly what I am : passion guides me. “