Paris 2024 Olympic Games: “People applaud the flame more than me”, Kevin Mayer looks back on his experience as the ultimate flame bearer in Montpellier

Paris 2024 Olympic Games: “People applaud the flame more than me”, Kevin Mayer looks back on his experience as the ultimate flame bearer in Montpellier

Kévin Mayer a été fêté lors de son arrivée Place de l’Europe, à Montpellier. J-M.Mart. Midi Libre – JEAN-MICHEL MART

The decathlete from Montpellier, ambassador of the city, carried out the last torch relay and lit the cauldron. Motivation for the athlete, always in the race for Olympic qualification.

Tell us about that moment, what did you feel carrying the flame and lighting the cauldron ?

It’was huge, it huge… These are full emotions. Usually I have to finish the kneecaps on the track to have this kind of emotion, and here, they gave it to me for free, like that. It’s a huge honor, a huge pride in having done it and emotions shared with people.

When we see the little hiccup a few days ago, you didn't have a little pressure when lighting’ ;nbsp;?

It's not my responsibility or my responsibility, if it hadn't worked, I would have made a little joke, it would have passed (laughs).

How was your selection for this position??

From the start, I was at the meeting with Tony Estanguet (president of COJO Paris 2024) and Michaël Delafosse (Mayor of Montpellier) for the passing of the flame. I represented the city so that we had the flame here, I was quite involved in the project, and quite proud, it’s a great success.

You are used to representing Montpellier internationally. There, people are watching you all over the world…

I'm not going to hide from you that I live for sport and I would rather be in the stadium than making the flame. You have to take advantage of every moment and I think that the opportunity that I have just had, few people have it and if you don't take advantage of it, you are crazy.< /p>

You who have won titles, it’s a different emotion ?

Yes of course, people applaud the flame more than me, even if I imagine that some know my record and applauded me for that. When you make people vibrate through your sport in a stadium, you vibrate and the vibration goes towards the people so it’s something even stronger.

"I have my own Olympic values: kindness and empathy"

It makes me want to be in Paris at the end of July more than ever ?

The motivation was already enormous but when we see that… Just going for a little jog and having an audience transcended me. Ah how I wish I was on that track that day…

It is often said that the values ​​of Olympics go beyond those of sport. What is your definition ?

I have my own Olympic values: kindness and empathy. Things that are very lacking in our world today.

Also read: D-100 Paris 2024 Olympic Games: "I'm having a little trouble planning ahead”, the confession of Kevin Mayer

When the speaker gave you the microphone, you also talked about the athletes who train hard and will not participate in these Games…

There are many who train as much as we do and very few who can reach this level. As an athlete, I think a lot about those who only have the hidden part of the iceberg and who are not on the podiums, etc. Hellip; I imagine that if they love their sport, that's not why they do it, like me, but it's still an exceptional bonus. I think of them

Where are you in your race to qualify for Paris 2024 ?

I cannot announce my decathlon yet, for confidential reasons. But it will be announced soon.

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