La Gymnasiade in Normandy, major rehearsal before the 2024 Olympics

“We’re still a little younger at the 2024 Olympics, but why not 2028 or 2032? This Saturday, May 21, before the closing night, a young French wrestler was at the gymnasium. After winning 10 medals at the Olympic Games, he hasn’t hidden his dream. According to Laurent Petlinka, President of the International Games Federation, “a pre-tournament match, the real Youth Olympics.” 3,500 young people from 66 countries competed in Normandy for a week in 17 Olympic sports and three Paralympic games.

With opening and closing ceremonies in Deauville and numerous events at Côte Fleurie (badminton, beach volleyball, orientation) and Khan (swimming, athletics, archery, orientation), Calvados makes most of the event. I experienced. It looked like a rehearsal before Paris 2024.

Sporty, first of all, “The level was extraordinary, Laurent Petlinka smiles. Some of these young people will be able to compete in the 2024 tournament and will probably join the national team in the future. . “No less than that. Carine Albertus, director of the Gymnasiade project at the National Union of School Sports (UNSS), says nothing else. And there are nuggets like the boxer Kaella Mopin, who won the Pont-Eau de Mer (wool), and the French sevens rugby team, who won the girls and boys. You can see that there is a successor. Breakdancing, which was incorporated into the Olympic program, also provided an excellent overview.

The Simone Weil Space in Le Havre hosted a breakdance event for the Gymnasia de 2022, a discipline built into the program of the 2024 Olympic Games. Here, the 15-year-old Kimmy Alvarez Alias ​​Bgirl Kimmy is considered the rising star of discipline.  © PHOTOP QR / WEST FRANCE / Martin ROCHE
The Simone Weil Space in Le Havre hosted a breakdance event for the Gymnasia de 2022, a discipline built into the program of the 2024 Olympic Games. Here, the 15-year-old Kimmy Alvarez Alias ​​Bgirl Kimmy is considered the rising star of discipline. © PHOTOP QR / WEST FRANCE / Martin ROCHE

Gymnasiade also allows these promising athletes to be familiar with the major competitions in their field while rubbing their shoulders with “stress and pressure of major events” and sliding tricolor wrestlers. Did. The event was often held in public because it was held in front of a curious audience (there was no gym ticket office). The audience, who also saw the work of young referees and young volunteers involved in adventures like Ama (14 years old) who participated in the badminton tournament, said, “It was the first time at such a high level. It’s like a small profession. At the Olympics. I think I introduced the players I can meet again. »»

Advanced negotiations to welcome the delegation in 2024

In one of the rooms at the Deauville International Center, Noah and Lou proudly exhibited their work on a video projector. Because they participated in the “Young Press” program, they provided media coverage for the contest. We practiced a lot of English and met a lot of people. It was good to reduce the shyness. We learned at work. The organization told us about the opportunity for the Paris Olympics. And Lou, who was a major player in 2024, completes: “. Mobilizing young people around gym sports may make it possible to create a desire for future programs for Olympic volunteers.

Perhaps some of these future volunteers will return to Normandy. Eleven sites in Calvados are included in the list of sites selected to host a delegation in preparation. In addition to the Normandy Sports Center in Houlgate, there is also infrastructure in Bayeux, Caen, Deauville, Elville Saint Clair and Mondeville. Canadian swimmers are already looking to Khan. According to Carine Albertus, Gymnasiade has even made it possible to proceed with negotiations. “This is a good rehearsal for the municipality or facility that hosted the event and emphasizes the UNSS project manager. In Normandy, local governments are using gymnasiums to work with delegations such as China and Taiwan. I’ve been contacted. Some are very advanced. The pre-convention tournament, the motto has spread behind the scenes.