“He can go, there’s a crazy atmosphere” … American life shaped new star Leon Marchant

"He can go, there's a crazy atmosphere" ... American life shaped new star Leon Marchant

It was just after 10 a.m. Wednesday in this city on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, and the sun was already setting at 33 ° C. Temperatures rose to another level in the offices of the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center when Leon Marchant’s face appeared at the start of the 200m medley in Budapest World. Arriving at Arizona State University (ASU) a year ago, the Frenchman, who won his second and third medals, wore the colors of the Sun Devils in Hungary.

The new swimmer, who is licensed in Toulouse, found time in prison to figure out how to integrate into a prestigious American university. So the election fell to ASU and Michael Phelps’ former coach Bob Bowman. There are bad things as a reference. “It simply came to our notice then [aller aux Etats-Unis] He had it for a long time because his father had already gone there for training, ”explains his coach, Nicholas Castell. That’s how the 19-year-old landed under Dodger in Arizona.

A few complicated beginnings

“It has benefited him to be there,” adds Thomas Summut, his mental trainer for two years. For nineteen years, living in a family cocoon, it was the perfect time for him to fly on his own. But he had to feel that he could trust himself. That’s why we had a hard time talking during the first three months after arriving in the US, so he discovered this new atmosphere on his own. The beginning was not easy. His former roommate and training partner Christian Osterdorf tells us:

“He was a little embarrassed because he did not speak English like everyone else. But he adjusted very quickly and we helped him to feel comfortable in the group. ⁇

So there is a need to get more innovative and get into the rhythm of more morning training. “Training starts at 6am, until 7:30am, Marchand told us before the worlds. Then we have a little siesta, and lessons – usually 10 to 12 or 1 in the morning – training from 2 to 4 in the afternoon. We often have homework to do but we are quiet. We go to bed very early and we wake up very early. ⁇

“The American system is better than ours.”

Overall, Leon Marchand has to chain nine training sessions a week, including three bodybuilders, at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, one of the most popular aquatic centers in the country. Its magnificent stand, which can accommodate 2,000 people, and the Olympic pool, along with two other swimming pools, are ideal for welcoming golden youth from all over the country, from France, Switzerland or Ireland.

“He has it all in one place,” said Michael Coloma, technical director of the Dauphins de Toulouse club. “Here, it’s right-to-left. .

When he got there, Leon Marchand lived in a dormitory on campus, a treatment for all newcomers to ASU (first year student). “We lived very close to the swimming pool, a few minutes walk away, developing Christian Osterdorf. Next year, he will live with other members of the team in a house a short distance away. ⁇

The university competitions he enjoys

Very close with friends from the Sun Devils, Leon Marchant was able to develop this team spirit at various university championships, Pac-12 and NCAA. “It creates a good group dynamic,” his coach says. They train with the aim of getting a better ranking for their university. Inspired by athletes, this is a fun thing to do. ⁇

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“It contributes to his development, Thomas Summott adds. He’s able to go, he’s a crazy atmosphere. All swimmers returning from the United States have the same return. He rubs his shoulders with the best swimmers so he can compare himself to others.

“He’s a good man.”

Leon Marchand, who is considered by trainers to be a “very good student with good results”, emerges from the pools, taking advantage of the gastronomic prowess surrounding the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center: a wine bar, a restaurant specializing in fries, a corner barbecue restaurant and a restaurant … Everything to make the students (approximately 100,000 or more than half of the city) happy, but not necessarily the top athletes of the athletes.

“Anyway, Leon is very interested in music, but above all with his friends, Osterdorf guarantees. He is a good person who takes care of everyone and he is fun to wander around in daily life. We spend a lot of time with the group. We sometimes go to see the games of the US football team and college basketball. ⁇

Especially since the Sun Devil Stadium (American football, 53,000 seats) and the Wells Fargo Arena (basketball, 17,000 seats) are close to the swimming pool. He meets another legendary James Harden from ASU. Yes, from France, at the age of 20, we can now include Leon Marchant, who became the third French swimmer in history to win two World Cups in the same year after Laure Manaudou (2007) and Florent Manaudou (2015). Legend Rank.

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