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Tokyo 2020. Teddy Riner: “Despite everything, Bibiche, he’s still here!  “- Tokyo 2020

What feeling dominates after this bronze medal?

The truth, she is kiffante! In a prize list, an Olympic bronze medal, it has its weight, it gives pleasure. Especially since I have come a long way. I don’t have the gold, but I am very proud of this medal. It makes me very happy, and I’m going to savor it, because it was difficult, the injuries, the questioning, the defeat in Paris (in February 2020, Editor’s note), it changes a lot of things in my head. Honestly, I came back to an excellent level, physically we were back to my best level, and it’s just a little frustrating to think that I could have been Olympic champion today. Now I have this medal, I’m happy. And another day, it will be me (who will be sacred), I hope, once again. I have no regrets, we did everything we needed to get the gold, that’s why I’m happy with this bronze medal. If I hadn’t done the right thing, I would have had regrets, but I did everything, I trained, prevention, strengthening, stretching… I dreamed of these three gold medals , but to leave with this medal of consolation, that makes me happy.

What does it represent?

It is the medal of courage and pride. It was necessary to tear off, it was not easy. In this season, in this Olympiad, there were twists and turns, it was the yo-yo, but it is there. I have known world, European, Olympic gold, there is a time when it must happen to me … And despite everything, “Bibiche”, it is still there! So I can only be proud of myself. This is why the regrets passed quickly. We had to get back on track and go get this bronze medal. My children, they told me “daddy, bring back the medal”, they will see nothing but fire!

How did you cope with your loss in the quarter-finals?

There is frustration, that’s normal, because it sucks to tell yourself that you have the level to pass it and that there you are… The penalties took a long time to fall, but I didn’t even want to to fall into controversies like that. I’m super, super, super happy. I’m going to do the job tomorrow (in the mixed team event on Saturday), but I just want to come home with the medal, to kiss family, friends. Because mash, it’s been five difficult years.

How did you get back together afterwards?

When you know you won’t have the gold, you say to yourself, have fun. These are the words that Franck (Chambily, his trainer) said to me: “Have fun, go get this bronze medal”. He had the words he needed to re-engage me.

Will you set out again to conquer Olympic gold in 2024 in Paris?

God willing, but don’t talk to me about Paris, first I take a little rest, that’s for sure! It’s at home, but you have to give yourself time.

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