Vaulting : Portrait of a champion, or two...

Nicolas Andréani, the 2012 World Vaulting Champion and François Athimon, the French national team’s lunger, both spent a few days with the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee. As part of their studies to become sports teachers, the two vaulting athletes came to do an observation internship and share our team’s daily routine in the run up to the 2014 event.

Vaulting : Portrait of a champion, or two...
© Dirk Caremans

It was the occasion for both of them to discover the behind-the-scenes activity and to visit the competition venues; with a particular interest in the site hosting the vaulting competitions! They were also on hand on Wednesday 28 November, to answer questions posted by fans on the event’s Facebook page during an online interactive chat.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy symbolise a lot to each of them on a sporting level.

For Nicolas, it’s the ultimate aim of his career, “in a sense, it’s the Holy Grail that every athlete hopes to come close to.” Vaulting isn’t actually an Olympic discipline, so the equestrian encounter scheduled in 2014 will mean an enormous amount of media exposure. This will hopefully have an extremely positive impact on lesser-known disciplines such as vaulting. “In a way, the WEG are our very own Olympics”.

This will be the first World Equestrian Games for François, and he too intends to make the most of this exceptional event. “We’ll have to be careful to distance ourselves from the publicity that will come with it, he stresses, “to keep a clear head and be able to summon up all our skill and know-how. The horses will be ready; all we will need to do is to listen to them, so that together we’ll be able to deliver our very best.”

Both champions train regularly in a constant effort to improve their sporting performance. Nicolas confided that the freestyle programme he showed this year is extremely similar to the one he will be presenting in 2014 – he’ll be sure to really master it by then!

Both Nicolas and François assure us that in 2014 they will be more than ready for the event!

Nicolas Andreani - Voltige

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