LE SCAN SPORT – The French decathlete is revealed in “My 10 commandments”, his autobiography available this Thursday. Le Figaro drew some extracts to better understand the man behind the athlete.
“My 10 commandments” (Solar-L’Equipe Editions) is available since Thursday in all good bookstores. Through this story (written with Nicolas Herbelot), the beautiful face of French athletics tries to share with the reader his philosophy of life and some values that have allowed him to build his career. A daily life made up of sacrifices, high standards and excellence. So much for the tails on which the colossus agreed to come back at length in an interview with the Figaro this week. For the front side of the character behind the competitor, we have selected a few anecdotes drawn from the reading.
He dreams of a Harry Potter-style castle where sport replaces witchcraft
Hogwarts, the wizarding school of the Harry Potter saga.
“I’m quite a fan of Harry Potter, but especially of the place of study in which he operates: Hogwarts. To have a castle like this, where we would replace the study of magic by a school curriculum and the quidditch field, the sport of wizards, by a beautiful sports complex, would be my absolute ideal. Establishing a more dynamic vision of education, alongside competent staff, of course, because I am far from having the science, and helping young people to achieve their dreams would please me very much. I feel indebted for what my sport has given me and I would like to create an academy where I will give back everything I have learned. ”
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Shy, to see associable during his youth, he always liked activities alone, such as astronomy
Kevin Mayer at the Rio Olympics.
“You could even say that I developed a real passion for astronomy. I recently found in my parents’ garage an old astronomical telescope that belonged to my grandfather and with which I took good care. I have always had this ability to focus for hours on manual activities. Only. Almost associable. It’s sport that made me reach out to others. As a child, I could draw whole hours, spend a day on a model, build a huge thing with Lego and film it shot by shot. Even today, I cannot do without these moments. As the essential complement to my physical activity. “
Stay in a chair at school, a pain
“I have never been very adapted to the pace imposed by the school system. In fact, I never understood that you could ask a child to sit all day, seven or eight hours, at a school desk. I have sometimes experienced it in college. It was pain. And a heresy, I still think so. Today it would definitely make me sick. By that I mean physically ill. Because it’s just bad for the body. But I never separate the body and the spirit. “
Football leaves him completely unmoved, Neymar too
“Why has football almost become a global religion? Why does the general public adore him so much? What can justify it? Be careful, I don’t blame the fans, besides, I don’t even criticize them, but I don’t understand them. I recently went to see a match between Montpellier and PSG. I was sawed to see the guys chomp to gain ground when it comes to taking a free kick in their own camp. And their opponents take the ball back to put it back further. And so on… I was especially saddened to see a player, presented as one of the great geniuses of his sport, constantly falling to lure the referee while a teammate in vain multiplied the appeal races. He rolled on the ground rather than trying to stay upright to get to the end of his action. I have a hard time with that. What pleasure can one take in preferring the vice of a simulation to an action? “
He excels … in throwing stones
“I’ve always thrown stones, whether it’s ricocheting them, aiming or throwing far. I’m sure my pitching skills come from that childhood. Today when I see a decathlete or a heptathlete in pain in the throws, which is quite common, I can’t help but think that he or she must not have thrown enough stones in their youth. . “
More fan of the Marseillaise for what it represents than for its words
Kevin Mayer on the podium of the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“La Marseillaise, for example, which sounds when you are on a podium, I see it more for what it represents, a personal accomplishment and a representation that I have of my country, rather than for what it says . His words are nothing extraordinary: “May an impure blood water our furrows …” I know that it is full of history, that they must be placed in a revolutionary context dating back more than two hundred years, that it would be inappropriate, in any case badly perceived, for me to criticize them. But I find God Save the Queen more transcendent, more moving… ”
A fan of the Boston Celtics … because they play green
So I always watch reruns of all Celtics matches played during the night. I love their collective game. And then, it may seem anecdotal but it is not, they play in green, the color of the Bressanone slope, in the mountains, the color of nature, the one I love. If one day I had to have a track built for me, it would be green. I also saw the Celtics twice in real life. ”
Her body, a machine to tame but not to show off
Kevin Mayer and his decathlon world record in 2018.
“I turned down a lot of offers and certainly missed out on some big opportunities by refusing to pose nude. But I have no regrets. Neither blockage, for that matter. In fact, I post quite a few pictures of myself shirtless on social media. But I do it because they are taken in a special context, because I am in training and I am hot, because I love the feeling of the sun on my skin and I need the vitamin D, or that I just want to sunbathe. The fact is that I see my body less and less as a tool of seduction and more and more as my working tool. Less and less as something aesthetic and more and more like a machine. That’s what I want to talk to you about, this very capricious and very complicated machine that I continue to learn to control. ”
He is in favor of the lifetime suspension for doping
“That’s why cheaters drive me crazy!” Their selfishness is scandalous. They destroy the image of their sport and steal their opponents, in medals and fallout. I think the sanctions are not strong enough, they are not scary enough. In some cases, for those who conscientiously dope, I would support the suspension for life. I know that the current law does not allow it, but for them, four years is not enough. It just makes you miss one edition of the Olympics and it’s off again. ”
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No air conditioning, at home ecology is not just a front speech
“Air conditioning will soon be ecologically unsustainable, if it isn’t already. We will therefore have to learn to adapt. My way of cheating is the fan, which is not a solution either, since it consumes energy. Unless I draw it from the largest generator within our reach, the sun… In the house I am having built, I plan to put an air conditioning outlet, but there will be no air conditioning. I want to see if we are evolved enough to do without. It’s a test. I hope that we will find solutions soon. ”
Science fiction and the mysteries of the universe fascinate him
“I am passionate about science fiction. The film Interstellar *, for example, drove me crazy when I saw it when it came out. Since then, I have been thoroughly curious about everything that could be happening billions of light years away from us. Science allows us to know more and more. I follow the news of discoveries. I read a lot. I like the theories of cosmologist physicist Stephen Hawking, a specialist in gravity and black holes who had the great ability to explain all this in a simple way. His death two years ago even shocked me. I am from a generation that should not know about space-time travel or to other planets. But getting on a shuttle to go to space as a tourist would not be my favorite anyway. My absolute kif would be to have done the necessary studies to go there as an expert. ”
Regular reader of comics and manga
“It’s also what binds me to some Japanese manga. I’ve always loved comics, heroic fantasy, classics, Asterix, Tintin or Gaston Lagaffe… but the day my little brother Thibault started watching Naruto in cartoons on TV, I fell in love with manga. In the France team, I’m not the only fan. You can ask Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, he goes very far in their analysis and we sometimes have long discussions on this subject. I am currently in the midst of One piece, which I love for his pirate culture, being a sailor, having his boat and being free on it. “
My Ten Commandments, Kevin Mayer, Solar-L’Equipe Editions, 18 euros 90.