Emmanuel Macron launches his sports plan and announces 5,000 sports equipment created or renovated

After the words, the budgetary acts. In his reception speech for the Tokyo medalists on September 13, Emmanuel Macron called for sports mobilization after the disappointing results of the Olympic Games. This speech, which had made waves in the sports world, should lead, a month later, to announcements, during a trip by the Head of State to Seine-Saint-Denis, at the heart of the device. of the Paris Games.

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The president indeed hears, according to his sports advisor Cyril Mourin, “Take advantage of the leverage of games to strengthen sports policy in terms of schools, public health and territorial action”.Concretely, an envelope of 200 million new credits will be opened to the National Sports Agency, an organization created in 2019 to coordinate all sports actions in the territory.

Lightweight and inexpensive infrastructure

No less than 5,000 sports facilities will be created or renovated, according to the Élysée. With a priority for poorly endowed areas: priority neighborhoods for city policy in Seine Saint-Denis or Marseille, and rural development areas. The effort will focus on light and inexpensive infrastructure. The plan targets in particular the City Stadiums, judo halls (dojos), 3 x 3 basketball courts, padel courts or removable swimming pools.

Appropriations will be specifically directed towards the requalification of existing equipment for new needs. Certain college or high school stadiums will thus be fitted out to be accessible to the public outside of school hours. Municipal halls or common areas on the ground floor of social buildings will be suitable for sports uses.

Immediately available credits

For the sake of efficiency, these credits are immediately available, allocated over time, according to the needs expressed by the federations, without waiting for the usual budgetary arbitration. Emmanuel Macron should also announce that the State will commit to at least 50% on each project. This rate can go up to 80% in certain cases (100% in the overseas territories and departments).

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Member of the Loire (Generations) and co-chair of the working group on Paris 2024 at the National Assembly, Régis Juanico regrets that this plan is coming so late. “It’s always good that we put money into sport, explains the opposition MP, but it would not have been necessary to plan for three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the sums allocated to sports equipment. We had fallen to a historically low level, there we are correcting it is good, but we lost a lot of time ”.“One can also wonder about the means freed in addition to animate these places, because an empty stadium, without educator or project of animation, it is useless”, he adds.

A president footballer for a day

These announcements will be distilled during a morning dedicated to the sports and Olympic world. The presidential procession will pass through the Olympic village, whose construction is well underway. The opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to check that the deadlines are respected, as well as the conditions of employment imposed by the State in the application file. According to the sports advisor of the Élysée, the imposed target of 10% of jobs induced by Paris 2024 resulting from integration has been exceeded (we are talking about 13%).

The afternoon will then be festive for the president, who will leave Seine Saint-Denis to reach the Yvelines, in Poissy, where the Variétés Club de France, “his” ephemeral football club awaits him. In order to pay tribute to this association organizing matches for the benefit of charities, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, he will put on crampons alongside former glories, such as Marcel Desailly, Arsène Wenger, Christian Karembeu or Jean-Michel Larqué .



The two Afghan Paralympic athletes welcomed by France

The two Afghan athletes who participated in the Tokyo Paralympic Games were welcomed by France, sports minister Roxana Maracineanu announced on Friday, August 10. “They wanted to come back to France, and we welcomed them like thousands of Afghans”, assured the minister.

These two athletes, Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli, whose participation in the Paralympic Games was almost prevented by the arrival of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, landed on French soil shortly after the end of the Games, whose closing ceremony was took place on Sunday.

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The two athletes had already passed through France in August. The sports ministry, in collaboration with the military ministry and the foreign ministry, had indeed managed to evacuate them from Kabul to Paris, a few days before the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games on August 24.

Taekwondo and athletics

“We managed to get these athletes out of Kabul, and then we made sure that these athletes could rest (…) and train” at the National Institute of Sports Expertise and Performance (Insep), recalled Roxana Maracineanu.

Arrived on August 28 in Tokyo, they were greeted by the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Andrew Parsons upon their arrival on Japanese soil. They were able to participate in their respective events, taekwondo for Zakia Khudadadi and the 400m in athletics for Hossain Rasouli, who lost his left arm in a mine explosion.

“I followed them a bit (in Tokyo, editor’s note). You know that I have a past quite close to theirs since I too arrived in France as a refugee (in 1984 from Romania, editor’s note), so I am very sensitive to their situation today ”, added the minister.

“I also know the dangers that threaten them and their families”, said Roxana Maracineanu, who did not wish to say more about their situation ” For safety reasons “.



French sportsmen find their colors in Tokyo

Bronze in triathlon, silver in windsurfing (twice), rugby sevens and fencing, and gold in team judo: France, which until then had 13 medals since the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, saw all the colors, Saturday July 31, and had its best day. It now has 19 medals, including four in gold, which ranks it 8th among nations, far from China and the United States, however, 45 medals each at the same time.

The triathletes got the ball rolling

It was the triathlon mixed relay team that paved the way, in the heart of the French night, finally opening the Olympic medal counter in the young history of this discipline – which appeared in 2000 in Sydney – where the French nevertheless displayed very good results in international competitions throughout the year. During the Japanese morning, the French triathletes won the bronze medal. A great consolation after the failure of Vincent Luis, world champion in the discipline, in individual at the beginning of the week.

Triple reigning world champions in the specialty, Léonie Périault, Dorian Coninx, Cassandre Beaugrand and Vincent Luis finished behind Great Britain (1st) and the United States (2nd) in this new format at the Olympics, which each consists of torchbearers to perform a “short distance” triathlon (300 m swimming, 6.8 km cycling, 2 km running).

Windsurfing silver lining

A few hours later, when France woke up or was already heading for vacation, Charline Picon, defending champion in Rio in 2016, then Thomas Goyard, for whom it was the first Games, each obtained the silver in windsurfing RS: X on the Enoshima body of water. The 36-year-old Charentaise champion did it in the most beautiful way, winning the final regatta on her daughter Lou’s 4th birthday. However, she must lose for gold against China’s Lu Yunxiu.

The New Caledonian Thomas Goyard, he preserved the essential despite a disqualification for having anticipated the start, like two of his competitors. The Dutchman Kiran Badloe, wearing a magnificent blue crest, won the title.

After these very good beginnings, it was the collectives who brought great satisfaction to the French side. That of the girls of rugby sevens, first of all, who could not do anything against New Zealand in the final, beaten 26 to 12, but had succeeded a few hours earlier in the semi-final, to overcome a formidable British team, dominated by 26 points to 19. The French players could never worry the reigning double world champions, but they did much better than in the 2018 World Cup final, when the Neo Zealander had crushed France 29-0.

The other satisfactions came from the two sports which shone in the first week, then, in this case judo and fencing, two French “specialties”.

The sabers Cécilia Berder, Manon Brunet, Sara Balzer and Charlotte Lembach achieved a great performance by dismissing the Italians in the semifinals to become Olympic vice-champions against the defending champion Russia who had two individual medalists in its ranks. including recent gold medalist Sofia Pozdniakova. The Russians won by 45 touches to 41. For the French fencers, it was the first Olympic saber final.

France stronger than Japan in judo

In judo, too, it was a first: that of the mixed team event, entered for the first time on the Olympic program, and which proved to be as interesting as it was spectacular, offering a gala final between the two. nations which dominated the judo week at the Nippon Budokan: France, but also Japan, often dominant individually but clearly beaten (4 wins to one) by the French team, led by its leaders Clarisse Agbégnénou and Teddy Riner.

These two exceptional champions contributed to this fourth gold medal for the French delegation. Clarisse Agbégnénou, standard bearer of the Blues and already crowned the previous Tuesday in individual in less than 63 kg, even managed the feat of beating the Japanese Chizuru Arai, Olympic champion in the upper category of less than 70 kg.

This collective gold medal, notably shared with Sarah-Léonie Cysique (under 57 kg), Margaux Pinot (under 70 kg), Guillaume Chaine (under 73 kg), Axel Clerget (under 90 kg) and Romane Dicko (over 78 kg), crowns the superb week of French judo, which had already collected seven individual awards, equaling the records of Barcelona-1992 and London-2012.

On this day when France was finally at the party in these Olympics, we must add more good news: the qualification in athletics of pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie for the final, thanks to a jump to 5.75 m.



Christophe Dominici, Andrés Iniesta, Ian Thorpe… These great sportsmen who have suffered from depression

Often referred to as “superhumans” for their exceptional performance, many top athletes have acknowledged having struggled against a more surprising “adversary”: depression. Here are a few striking examples.

♦ Ian Thorpe (swimming)

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe revealed in 2016 that he has struggled with depression since he was a teenager. The five-time Olympic champion was hospitalized with depression in 2014 after being found wandering and disoriented on a Sydney street.

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“I am someone who has struggled with mental problems since I was a teenager”, he wrote on a blog for young people in 2016. “Seen from the outside, many could not see my suffering or understand the sometimes daily struggle I was facing”. “This is part of the integral deception of depression and mental disorders: what comes through may be totally different from the inner agony”.

In 2014, several months after receiving treatment, he came out and was applauded by the sports world for advancing the fight against homophobia.

♦ Michael Phelps (swimming)

The greatest swimmer in history, the American Michael Phelps also admitted to having suffered from depressive episodes.

Totaling 28 Olympic medals including 23 in gold gleaned between Sydney-2000 and Rio-2016, the American suffered from depression after each of the Olympics in which he participated. After London in 2012, he had spent days locked in a room, alone, during his most severe depression.

“I was able to achieve some incredible performances in the pools and I fought outside. There was a part of my life that I wouldn’t wish to know ”, recognized the American swimmer.

♦ Robert Enke (football)

Germany were particularly shocked by the suicide in 2009 of international goalkeeper Robert Enke who threw himself under a train. In 2014, Andreas Biermann, a former second division player at St. Pauli club and chronically depressed, also ended his life.

♦ Andrés Iniesta (football)

Former Spain international footballer Andrés Iniesta went through a depressive period at age 25, just after winning his second Champions League with FC Barcelona in 2009. This period coincides with the death by cardiac arrest of his friend from Espanyol. Barcelona Dani Jarque, to whom he would later dedicate his goal in the 2010 World Cup final.

“When I heard the news, I felt like I had received a punch, a very powerful blow that knocked me out and knocked me out a lot. I was not well at all ”, related the former Barça captain in a documentary dedicated to him, entitled “Andrés Iniesta, the unexpected hero”.

♦ Paul Gascoigne (football)

Another emblematic case, Paul Gascoigne. The 54-year-old former footballer with 57 caps for England, whom he led to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup, has suffered from alcoholism and depression for years.

♦ Tom Dumoulin (cycling)

Winner of the 2017 Giro, the Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin has been on the podium of a grand tour two more times (second in the Giro and the Tour de France in 2018). In 2017, he was world time trial champion, one year after winning the silver medal in this event at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Dumoulin announced on January 23, 2021 that he wanted ” to make a break “. He has since resumed competition and will notably participate in the Tokyo Games.

“Who knows where this will take me?” In any case, I will talk a lot with people, think, walk my dog ​​and find out what I want as a person, on the bike, and what I want to do with my life ”, explained the runner, relieved by his decision to take a break: “It’s like a hundred kilogram backpack has vanished from my shoulders. “

♦ Christophe Dominici (rugby)

The career of ex-rugby international Christophe Dominici, who died in November 2020 at the age of 48, has followed the sinuous trajectory of his life, from the sublime test against the All Blacks during the World Cup-99, to the darkest despair , which haunted him.

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In a book in 2007, Dominici returned to this depressive episode following various personal trials. “I played two World Cups with rubber bands on my back and never won. I took them off. I hope that will allow me to run faster “, he hoped then.



Covid-19: what we know about the consequences for top athletes

He had worried the world of sport. In April 2020, the Montpellier Hérault Sport Club Junior Sambia player, positive for Covid-19, was admitted for two days in intensive care. In June, he confided to France Blue Hérault have regained all of their means despite a deficit of “Two-three kilos” on its usual form weight.

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In early May, it was Boston Celtics basketball player Evan Fournier, who admitted to still feeling the effects of the Covid, contracted a month earlier: “It’s like I have a concussion. It’s getting a little better right now, but initially it was the bright lights that bothered my eyes and my vision was blurry. Everything was going too fast for me. And it still is. “

Rather preserved from serious forms of the disease, top athletes do not all get back on their feet quickly after coming out of the disease. Without knowing exactly why. “Covid affects the lungs, probably vessels and certain nervous systems. But that, these are only physiopathological hypotheses, explains Fabien Pillard, physiologist and sports doctor at the university sports clinic of the University Hospital of Purpan, in Toulouse. Today, when questioning athletes, what comes up the most is: fatigue, shortness of breath, deconditioning or the inability to regain an expression of previous physical condition. In this case, which organ is failing? Today, we don’t know. “

Questions about an increased risk of injury

This unknown factor is also maintained by the inequality of reactions, depending on the individual. Romain Loursac, one of the doctors of Lyon Olympique Universitaire, among the clubs most affected in the Top 14 (around twenty cases since the start of the season), affirms that he has hardly been confronted with these exhausting situations. “Some players were tired during their recovery but nothing more. When they are affected by the Covid, they are completely stopped for ten days so, by force of circumstances, they decondition themselves to a minimum. We just had two who found it a bit more difficult to come back: in the first week, they were a little more tired. “

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This state of form raises questions about injuries, especially muscle injuries: would athletes be, after the Covid, more prone to tears and others? “Like any inflammatory pathology, there is a possibility that the skeletal muscle, such as the quadriceps, is affected, recognizes Fabien Pillard. We are currently carrying out a study in athletes to find out if the risk of injury is increased.

A study on the sequelae for the heart

What specialists are certain of is that the virus can affect the heart. “Myocarditis was a big fear”, concedes Romain Loursac. In France, only one case of myocarditis has been detected in high-level athletes: William Wavrin, the third row of Stade Montois in Pro D2, tested positive in October, was kept away from the field for five months, to avoid any drama. “It remains an inflammation of the heart, but when you solicit an inflamed muscle, it finds itself kneaded with stiffness”, warns Purpan’s doctor.

The clubs therefore remain vigilant and organize a battery of tests before relaunching their foals. “Once the player is negative, we do a cardiac assessment with blood test, ultrasound and others. Then we set up, with the physical trainers, a classic progressive recovery “, explains the Lyon Olympique Universitaire doctor. In order to better anticipate the dangers, two Bordeaux researchers embarked on a study in March 2020 to understand the possible sequelae of Covid on the heart. A work, in which the National Rugby League participates, carried out on a panel of 2,000 sportsmen, including 1,400 rugby players from professional clubs. The results are expected to be released in June.

So far, only an American study, published last March in the medical journal JAMA Cardiology, has looked into the question. And delivered reassuring conclusions: it detected only five cases of myocarditis for 789 players who tested positive for Covid-19. Or 0.63% of the target population.