How to become an Olympic athlete for the 2024 Olympics?

Participating in the Olympic Games in one’s own country is the dream of every sportsman. If Paris wins the organization of the edition 2024, you have seven years to try to win your place. Provided you choose the right sport.

All sports - Paris 2024 - Paris 2024, the opportunity or never to become an Olympian?  (R.Martin / Reuters)
Paris 2024, the opportunity or never to become an Olympian? (R.Martin / Reuters)

To make a sport where France does not shine but will be qualified automatically

As in other sports competitions, the host country is automatically qualified in many (but not all) disciplines at the Olympic Games. Thus, if France wins the organization of the competition , the Blues will participate in some events where they are usually not qualified, in relatively confidential sports in the country.

This is the case of field hockey, where France should benefit, as Brazil in 2016, an automatic qualification if it meets certain criteria. France has less than 20,000 licensed players in this sport, has not qualified for the Olympics since 1972 and has only participated in two World Cups in its history. It would be time to put a stick in the hands of your boy or your 13 year old daughter and register in one of nearly 200 French clubs, who already feel an effect JO . With seven years of intense training, he or she may have a chance to participate in the Olympic adventure with the France team in 2024.

Have a gift of nature

For ordinary people, seven years of training, even intensive, is not enough to reach the level of the best athletes in the world in most Olympic disciplines. But as shown by the American journalist David Epstein in the excellent book The Gene of Sport , genetics plays a role, admittedly still poorly understood but real, in sports performance at the highest level. In other words, if you have the right genes, you will need less training than others to achieve the same result.

This explains why an athlete can reach the peaks in a very short time. In 2007 in Osaka, Donald Thomas became world champion of high jump with a little academic leap but formidable effective at 2.35m, only eight months after having started to train in this discipline.

To become helmsman in rowing

At first glance, rowing is not one of the easiest Olympic sports. It is not uncommon for rowers to temporarily lose their eyesight at the end of the race, a reaction of the body to pain, not to mention the back problems that high-level practice entails. However, it is in this discipline that one of your best hopes of participating in the 2024 Games is thanks to the position of helmsman , this person who sits on the stern of the boat and shouts on his teammates for coordinate the pace of rowers in the eight-event.

The only condition? You have to be very light. The helmsman of the reigning Olympic champion, Phelan Hill, weighs 55 kg,

The helmsman, this little guy.  (I. Meijer / The Team)
The helmsman, this little guy. (I. Meijer / The Team)

More than 40 years? Put yourself on horseback or shooting

May the fifties among you not be discouraged. It is not uncommon to see athletes over 50, or even 60, in riding or shooting events . In Rio, the oldest athlete, all sports combined, was Julie Brougham, a New Zealand rider who competed in the individual dressage event at age 62 . In London, the Japanese rider Hiroshi Hoketsu was 71 years old . He came close to breaking the historic Olympic record held by Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn. At the 1920 Games in Antwerp, he was 72 years old and competed in two shooting events, even picking up money from the double-team team deer, which also makes him the oldest medalist in history.

Change of nationality

Finally, there is one last solution: that of changing nationality to have more chances of qualifying for the Olympic Games. An interesting option if you practice a sport much more developed in France than in other countries. This is how the judoka Ketty Mathé, barred in the French team, became Turkish to participate in the Rio Olympics , or that the handball player Bertrand Roiné defended the colors of Qatar. Only drawback: if France organizes the 2024 Olympics, you will not experience the emotion of defending the colors of a host country.

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