10 questions to Martin Thomas

Copyright: Armelle Courtois

Martin Thomas - Copyright Amaury Media
Copyright: Amaury Media
10 questions were put to Martin Thomas, member of the French Olympic team, European vice-champion in individual and team events, and French canoe slalom champion.

Originally I come from Jarnac in Charente, a long way from the torrents and Alpine rivers where I practice my sport. Nevertheless, I have always had a passion for the water and water sports since I was a child. I made my first paddle strokes at the Jarnac club, where Martin Braud and Cédric Forgit, who was 4th at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, both come from. It was this duo who really put the stars in my eyes. I saw them competing at the highest international level, and I eagerly wanted to compete like them! I was quickly smitten by the sport and spent hours and hours on the water, both in the summer and winter, gradually climbing the ladder and overcoming the many obstacles that stood in my way.

My fondest memory was winning the European vice-champion title in Pau in 2019 in front of a roaring crowd. I came in right between the two best in the world. It made me realise that I too had earned my place at this level!

My week is not really all that typical because the training sessions vary throughout the season. However, 70% of a week is made up of white-water canoeing of approximately 16 hours, 20% of weight training of roughly 4 hours, then the remaining 10%, depending on the season and the location, is devoted to ancillary activities such as climbing, cross-country skiing, trail, and kitesurfing, etc. The duration of training varies and can last up to 35 hours per week.

I spent four years working as a sports physiotherapist, although I had to stop because I wanted to take a step forward to reach my sporting goals. I could no longer keep up with the 9-hour working day and the intense training sessions. Sometimes I trained alone at night, before or after work, but the fatigue just kept building up. I decided to go fully professional at the beginning of 2019 by seeking sponsors. Since then, my results have been improving steadily towards my selection for the Olympics.
I have to admit that it’s more the knowledge acquired from my high level sports that helps me in my practice than the other way round! I am always trying to discover what is best in terms of training and recovery. I enjoy seeking out the latest scientific studies.

I enjoy plenty of outdoor sports, from surfing to cross-country skiing, as well as rock climbing and kitesurfing! They are a natural part of my overall preparation because they provide me with additional resources. I simply need them because they help me become stronger in my main discipline.

The MAIF was a crucial first sponsor instrumental in getting me to this level.
Discover the Sport Planet operation led by the MAIF in partnership with L’equipe magazine: click here

Then others later joined me like COMPOSE and then finally CADERAS MARTIN.

I spent two weeks there at the end of 2019 for the inauguration of the Olympic Whitewater Stadium. This first training camp on the site of the future Olympics, as well as the local culture, really inspired me to want to go back there. It provided me with a lot of motivation in the preparation for my selections. The Japanese culture is enthralling, the landscapes are magnificent, and the food is to die for!

I am deeply passionate about this project and fully committed to it. With Armelle Courtois, vice-world kitesurfing champion, we wanted to create a sporting challenge that would serve an environmental message. We thus set ourselves the goal of going kitesurfing at an altitude of over 5,000m on glacial lakes! The lakes that we go kiting on appeared only a few years ago due to the glaciers receding. By kiting on them, we draw attention to the planetary phenomenon of global warming. We demonstrate that we can now glide on water, where a few years ago huge glaciers used to stand. These freshwater reserves are doomed to disappear. This represents a potential threat to billions of people. Thanks to this project, I am pleased to be able to put my image as a sportsman at the service of major socio-environmental issues. Awareness-raising will take several forms, including two adventure films and the support of partners wishing to promote this initiative and spread our message. Discover the project

There is a strong parallel between CADERAS MARTIN‘s business activity via its dedicated department, the “Japan Desk“, and my journey towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In a way, I will be the company’s sports representative! As I need the maximum amount of support for this extraordinary event, I am delighted to share my preparation with CADERAS MARTIN and its collaborators. We will be experiencing strong emotions during this adventure. I look forward to sharing them with you so that you can savour the excitement with me.

We are not sure of the schedule yet. However, there will undoubtedly be three training sessions in Tokyo that will be starting in April, then afterwards the European championships in Ivrea, Italy in May.

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