Our European Hero Tour continues! From the lovely Ireland we flew over to the famous judo city of France. The capital of Judo, Paris. French number one David Larose will be also one to watch for the upcoming years!
The U66 champion gives us a short insiBy Szandra Szögedi
The 28 years old french athlete has been involved in the judo business for quiet a time now
David Larose : I started judo at the age of 9 and the reason was very simple, because, where I was at the time, I needed to do sport so I started judo. David considers to be competitive in every part of his life, therefore judo was the same for him from day one. I am competitor hearted, I always take everything seriously in judo and even when I was young I always wanted to participate in the highest competitions within my age group.
David began his Olympic Journey in 2008 at the Beijing Games where he been called up to participate from a reserved position.
However, for the London 2012 Games he fought his way into the arena. David expressed his feelings about the Olympics: London Olympics for me is unforgettable. Beijing was also incredible, but making it to the games by yourself is a completely different feeling. In 2008 at Beijing I was replacing and so that was a great adventure for me. But either way, to be at an Olympics is a privilege itself. You have 350 athletes to represent a country of 65 million people. The Olympics is the most beautiful festival of sport, it is crazy… All the greatest of each discipline are united in the same “mini city”, with the same goal: to take the victory. It is huge. Also, the media impact is very impressive at the Games; I was told that I was the first “hashtag” on twitter on the day of my competition. It is incredible. Representing your country at the Olympic Games, and being able to call yourself an Olympian is above all personal satisfaction.
Sports Career vs Family, or what we often called ‘a normal life’. Some says they can not deal with it while others live with it.
Besides maintaining his position on the World ranking, the french judoka has actually much more to juggle with, than just trainings day in and day out. David is a father of two beautiful children therefore he has the task to excel outside of the dojo too. How do you balance your family life with your career?
Larose : Balance my career and my family life is a bit complicated, because my wife works a lot and I have two children (4 years and 11 months), and I often have to run around to manage everything between of two sessions, but we manage. It is possible and I think it is really just the question of being organised enough. – explains the 2013 Grand Slam Gold medallist.
Years and years of hard work, thats what every judoka goes through before (and if) they can enjoy that precious moment on the podium.
It took 19 years of David’s career to gain his first European Championship medal in Budapest last year. So, how did it feel to win your first European medal?
Larose : I arrived to the European Championship with a lot of confidence in my judo, which was also a follow up on my victory in Paris. I had a great physical preparation too for that event. I was happy to come back with a medal, but a little disappointed as failed to make the final. – he recalls.
So that’s about it for 2013, what are your targets for this year?
Larose : My goals for 2014 are ambitious goals and I set myself a high target for this year. The main ones are, first, to try to triple “gold” in Paris; second, return home from the European Championships with the most beautiful and most shining medal; and of course win my first World medal in Russia.
David is determined to keep himself high up on the ranking. However, the next two years will not only be about ranking but improvement to be the best for the Rio Games. David’s home rival, Dragin Dimitri has also potential to meet the criteria to book himself a spot onto the list of qualified athletes. This case, if both players are eligible to go, the national governing body will decide who is going to represent France at the Olympics. Are you rather nervous or excited about the upcoming two years?
Larose: There is a bit of excitement and also a lot of tension, especially because in France the competition is tough in between of us and everyone will be given different competitions each year, so that everyone will have equal chance to make the Games. – explains David.
We gain experience in life in everything we do. In sports it is the same, however what more important is how we observe it and turn it into our advantage to gain further success. Athletes have four years in between two Olympiad, which is of course the same for David. What have you changed and looking to change to be the best at the 2016 Olympics?
Larose : Many things can changed between of two Olympiad…; starting with my judo, which changes each year. I have changed a lot of things from London, and in particular, now I do more rigour and tougher trainings in order to be more successful at the competitions.
What are the most important things you will be focusing throughout the next two years?
Larose: My goal is to qualify first of course, and to be the best on each tournament. Which if I manage, than I will not be pressured by my federation or by my opponent and I will be able to prepare for the Olympics as smoothly as possible.
You have been there, you have done this…not only once but twice. Now, let’s turn the time two years ahead, and say you have qualified, whilst you also began your preparation for the Games. In your own words, what do you think it takes to grab that special Gold on that special day?
Larose: Well, to be an Olympic Champion, there are a lot of little details which must come together on the day. You can be the best on the way to the Olympics and fail on the day…we have seen it before. What is really important that we must be ready to fight and do not give up no matters what are the circumstances. I hope in Rio it will be my day!
And as always, we asked David, what would be his three wishes?
Larose : Once I was told that if you speak out your wishes, they might not became true… So lets go to the Olympics in Rio and there I will tell you … 🙂