Sport has returned to its rightful place... or almost. But not for everyone, and not everywhere imposing the same rules. For individual sports such as triathlon or para-rowing, it's back to long-term preparation of the type practiced during the winter months. For collective sports such as 3×3 basketball, involving contact between individuals, local competitions have resumed but they are subject to particularly stringent rules. But no one has yet received confirmation of the timetable for international competitions. There is talk of September… but nothing is sure. And this seriously complicates the work of the coaches: “The players expect us to provide certainty when we’re not even certain about things ourselves!” complains Karim Souchu, joint coach of the French 3×3 basketball team.
Karim Souchu, just like Charles Delval in para-rowing or Stéphanie Deanaz in triathlon, agree about one thing: “We have to rely on things capable of providing a sound basis for the work we do.” So, to avoid adding stress to anxiety, there’s no question of passing on unconfirmed information!
On the other hand, everyone is eager to compete and, paradoxically, the first to be able to do so are the 3×3 basketball players, with a competition organized in early July at Cap d'Ail in southeast France, with strict social distancing measures and disinfection of the balls. For individual sports, the competition was resumed internally with confrontations between teammates, “directly, as soon as they came out of lockdown!” says Stéphanie Deanaz with a smile.
The paralympic athletes attended a training camp in July, hoping to return to the competition pools in October. But what all the athletes are worried about above all is the uncertainty regarding the 2021 date for the Tokyo Olympics, which have already been postponed for a year because of the pandemic. The three coaches are unanimous: no question of mentioning the possibility of cancellation just now!