Florent Manaudou will perhaps go against the grain but that doesn’t matter. Eight months before the Paris Olympic Games (July 26-August 11, 2024), the French swimmer entered, like hundreds of athletes, the final stretch before the event. At home, the Tricolores dream of a historic medal total while the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has set the high objective of finishing in the Top 5 of nations. An ambition put aside by Manaudou, who deplored the lack of recognition for sport in France, on the set of the Quelle Époque show on France 2 on Saturday.
“He (Emmanuel Macron) can do what he wants, that will not change. I will make enemies but we are not at all a sports country. They reduced PE lessons from 4 to 2 hours. We are not saying that we want to be the best nation by using these means. It’s not possible,” regretted the 33-year-old athlete, looking for a fourth Olympic medal next summer.
“We will win medals, and certainly more, but we put things in place two years ago. To prepare for the Olympic Games, you have to do it 10-12 years in advance, criticized Laure Manaudou's brother, comparing it with Great Britain's successful preparation for the London Olympics. I saw the English do it in 2012. They put a lot of things in place around 2009-2010 and they exploded in 2016-2020. Are we late? We'll see. But we can't double the number of medals just because we put things in place over the last two years. It is not possible."
Very critical, the 50m freestyle Olympic champion in 2012, candidate to be the standard bearer of the French delegation, hopes that his country will draw inspiration from abroad to progress: “We have very good talents but if we go in English-speaking countries and you see the infrastructure there… My former roommate went to Australia. For the same job, he earns five times more and he trains people who are less talented.” France has a lot of talent and Manaudou will be one of the leaders at the next Games, expected to be better than those in Tokyo, which brought home 33 medals and an 8th place for the Tricolores.