“Already like a perfume of the Games”

Ihe Paris 2024 website is equipped with a countdown that ticks off the days, hours, minutes and even seconds that separate us from the opening of the Olympic Games, Friday July 26, 2024 at 8 p.m. For sports enthusiasts, this reverse chronometer acts as a diffuser of the fragrance of the Games. The closer D-Day approaches, the more the festive aroma that envelops major sporting events is felt.

In 430 days and a little, some giants of their discipline will confirm their exceptional mastery of a technique, an effort, a strategy. In approximately 10,000 hours, athletes unknown to the general public will achieve the performance of a lifetime, which will be forever changed. In a little over 600,000 minutes, athletes from five continents will transmit to those who observe them a few seconds of immense joy, shivers, tears – of happiness or disappointment.

In these powerful emotions generated by the sporting spectacle, there is often an element of chauvinism. The phenomenon is more or less marked depending on the country and the individual, but for most fans of the Games, the feat of the compatriot is generally more savory than that of the neighbour. In France, as elsewhere, we like to have our eyes riveted on theth medal table. For these “at home” Olympics, this ranking has become a matter of state: in 2021, the Tokyo Games barely finished, Emmanuel Macron urged the French youth to appear in the top 5 nations.

Agbégnénou becomes world champion again

To achieve this lofty goal (France ranked 8e in Tokyo), it is necessary to excel well before 2024. For some, it is already necessary to work during national, continental or international competitions in order toobtain a qualification for the Games. For those who are sure to be invited to the party and are aiming for a gold medal, it is essential to mark the road to the Olympic Games of performance. To ramp up before the big meeting, to reure yourself or to demoralize the opponents of July and August 2024 in advance.

These Olympic appetizers are already served to us in the spring of 2023. A few days ago in Doha, the judoka Clarisse Agbégnénou, gold in Tokyo, became world champion again, her little girl – born barely eleven months ago – in her arms. In another style, mixing the aggressiveness of the hard worker and the pride of the long undefeated champion, Teddy Riner, 34, titled in 2012 and 2016, but fell back on the third step of the podium in 2021, also tasted goldsweating profusely against uninhibited young fighters.

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