Vincent Matheron, the Marseille skater who wants to ride in Paris during the Olympic Games

In terms of sports preparation, the French skater knows how to adapt to his sensations and the needs of his body but he will always prefer to do a good sliding session than do a series of squats. “It won’t change. I love skating more than anything, so I skate! It’s my only way to progress. Of course, I no longer wait until I get injured to pay attention to my body, I do mobilization and stretching sessions with my physiotherapist,” he emphasizes. Before the Tokyo Olympics, the skater suffered a triple malleolar fracture so serious that the surgeon suggested the sport was over for him… “But I’m a skater, I like to clench my teeth! I had to travel with screws and plates for a year,” he confesses. “I’m finally selected for the Olympics and that in itself is a small miracle.”

Throughout his career, Vincent has suffered multiple injuries and operations (knees, collarbones, hips, wrists) but he has not changed his way of skating. “Falls and risks are part of our sport, we have to accept them, anticipate them. He is like a boxer who goes into the ring and does not want to receive any blows,” he analyzes. “With each injury, I woke up twice as strong.” Small drawback: after an operation, the athlete necessarily goes through moments of blockage. “That’s the case on some tricks, but I’m training to overcome all that. “I spent a lot of time at the Red Bull rehabilitation center in Austria where I started working with a mental trainer and it helped me,” he says. “Today in this area I have the support of my federation and I can relieve stress and focus on the positive.”

© Clément Le Gall / Red Bull Content Group

The Olympic Games have changed the situation of a discipline previously classified in the category of “alternative sport”. If you Google the name of the boy in the bowl, the search now shows “Olympic athlete.” “There are two schools, those who think that we have nothing to do in the Olympic Games and those who believe that it is a great step for our discipline,” he says. Vincent Matheron is obviously one of them, but he keeps his feet on the ground: “What matters most to me is that skateboarding remains cool. As an athlete, I think it’s wonderful to represent your country. “The Olympic Games are a competition that is seen around the world and I hope they make young people around the world want to start skating.” Vincent Matheron will go serenely to Paris. As in 2021, the Marseille native intends to shine at the Olympic Games and this time he will have a little more experience and audience on his side. “Gold or nothing,” he recalls with a wink at the end of our interview before adding that the road to selection is still long: “Tomorrow is far away, as the IAM says!”

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