Meeting with Louis Giard, class of 2017, MBA Sport Management – World and European Windsurfing champion and contender for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
So, Louis, tell us your story!
I am Louis Giard, 24 years old, and I come from La Trinité-sur-Mer in Morbihan.
I was the Windsurf World Champion in 2012 and 2013, after whichI joined the French team and it has now been 5 years that I am part of this collective. In 2017, I became European Champion in Marseille, this is my first international title. I have also won 4 World Cup podiums since the beginning of my career including 3 victories (Abu Dhabi, Miami, and Hyères) and a Bronze medal at the 2015 European Championship.
Finally, my best result on a World Championship is a fifth place in 2016.
What titles! Where did you get that passion for sailing?
I grew up in La Trinité-Sur-Mer. This port is home to many sailing teams with boats that go around the world and cross the oceans. I learned sailing through school and quickly joined the club to discover the sport and satisfy this desire to go on the water. I only started windsurfing at the age of 11 thanks to my big brother Paul.
What motivates you in this sport?
What motivates me the most today is the competition. I like to fight against others. Moreover, windsurfing is a sport with a big energy expenditure, that’s why I have to train a lot physically (running, cycling, training in the gym) to prepare myself for these competitions.
This sport probably makes you travel a lot?
Yes indeed, the board makes me travel a lot but tourism is not the reason for my travels. Yes, I meet people and new cultures but my travels are often limited to the sailing club, the airport, and the place of our accommodation.
The longer the trip, the more I will be able to enjoy the country and take time to discover the place but it is rare.
And for the school then, what did you do to reconcile your student life to that of a great champion?
It’s not always easy to lead this double project, people do not always understand what I’m doing. However, schools have always helped me improve my career and to better develop my studies so that I can flourish. I find it very important to give the chance to athletes to study and practice their passion because it is a chance for not just their fulfillment and development but also for the school because we do not often meet these atypical profiles.
And why did you come to Paris to study? Far from your ocean and your beaches of Morbihan!
Coming to Paris for someone who is practicing a water sport was not easy but the training really interested me and that’s what motivated me to pass the course. Today the result is very positive, the added value I get from this Master in Sport Management, the meetings with other students, the personal development, and the good sports results that I managed to pick up in parallel, confirm that it was a great experience.
I’m waiting for the final jury to confirm the graduation, but it should be okay!
We are with you wholeheartedly! And for the rest then? Projects?
Of course! Once my diploma is in my pocket, I will focus on my career 100% in order to get selected at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. I should also work a few days a year in parallel to continue my professional training.
Thank you, Louis and good luck.