Elodie & Valentin: Five Sports and a Bit of Foolishness | Game for Two

My name is Elodie Clouvel, I’m an Olympic Vice-Champion
in modern pentathlon at Rio. I started modern pentathlon
after a career as a swimmer. I was also lucky to be part of a family
of high-level athletes. That’s why I have
good bases in running. My name is Valentin Belaud, I practise modern pentathlon and I’m the youngest
world champion in history. As a child I was hyperactive, so my parents wanted me to
practise sports to exert myself so I would be tired
in the evening. So they got me into modern
pentathlon at the age of eight. They recruited me for those
basic qualities in swimming and running. Then in September 2008
I joined INSEP and I started modern
pentathlon, so I started to learn fencing,
shooting and horseback riding because I had never practised
shooting, horseback riding and fencing. Valentin’s biggest victory was at the World Championships
this year in Moscow, where he became the youngest
world champion ever for France
at modern pentathlon. On a side note, the day before Elodie became
World Vice-Champion, after the ceremony she came
back to the hotel and told me
that if I wanted to do better, the only place left
was the first place. And the day after, I won. When we saw each other,
we looked at each other after the finish line
and I took up the challenge. I had my first World Championship title.
It was magic. For sure my biggest victory was to become
Olympic Vice-Champion at Rio. It’s not a gold medal,
but it’s a victory because an Olympic medal
is a dream, and it was magic
to live that moment. I managed to reach the stands and get right next to the race
for the first 800 metres. I was so close that when
I was rooting for her she wasn’t expecting
me to be there, and she went a bit off track and almost hit a marker
on her first 800 metres. It all went well, she didn’t
get off track or fall, but it could have gone badly. I think that Valentin’s
biggest defeat was at the last
Olympic Games in Rio. He was sad at the finish line,
he cried. It was the first time I saw him
cry after a competition. I had just turned Olympic
Vice-Champion the day before, so it was hard for him
and for me too. Soon he managed to get over it,
and we both shared my medal. That’s what lifted his spirit –
he smiled again knowing I was
Olympic Vice-Champion. He wasn’t ready
for the competition, he wasn’t psychologically
ready for the Games. It’s his biggest defeat,
the most heart-rending one. Elodie’s biggest quality
is that she’s tenacious, but it’s also a flaw because on her good days it’s a force and on other days, since she’s
stubborn, it can become a flaw, but she controls it
better and better. Valentin has a tendency
now and then of losing his temper
when he has an obsession and he’s obsessed on something,
and he’s also very impatient – he wants everything
immediately. Elodie is a warrior,
she’s relentless and she always
functions with love. The biggest problem
with modern pentathlon was that it wasn’t
very well known. But now, thanks
to Elodie’s medal and the millions of people
who saw her win at Rio, we’re lucky
to see our sport get bigger. We’ve known each other
for ten years. But we really met during
a sports training course and we got closer
to each other. It was natural
and we felt good together. It’s been a year and a half
since we got closer, we started going to
the movies together, going out, and we got together
little by little and that’s how love
came around. We understood
at a certain point that we weren’t just friends, but that we were meant
to be together. The first time we kissed
was while watching a movie a night in our room
here at INSEP. It was Gone Girl,
and I only remember the title. Elodie is a beautiful woman, and our most common quality is
that we’re both crazy, we give everything a try,
we pursue our dreams and that’s our strength
in modern pentathlon. Val and I are
very competitive, and even when we argue
neither of us gives in. We mutually make up, but we have
a competitor’s spirit. Elodie really amuses me
when she’s tired after all the training –
she’s clumsy and she… I always drop things,
I break stuff. Valentin watches me and
makes fun of me, he laughs. Elodie and I are eager to bring
back medals and win, always, and when one of us
doesn’t succeed we’re always there
for each other. Now that the Games are over, we’ve found ourselves a small
apartment to move in together and go on with
our lives together. We want to go to Tokyo together
and bring back two gold medals. After Tokyo I’d like to start
a family with Valentin, and have a baby. It’s the next goal
after the gold in Tokyo. We would have liked to before,
but after Rio it was impossible since we have to train
for another four years. You know how many you want? Two or three. Two to start with,
a boy and a girl. Three… We’ll see. I don’t want more than three. If we have more than three
we’ll have to change our car, and in France six-seaters
are ugly. The first thing is
our sport project. We’ll think about
the children later. In 50 years from now
I see myself having travelled,
been around the world, having different houses
and going around peacefully. A quiet life, but at the same time,
where we move around and don’t stay home
like old people. That’s for sure. Stay young in my mind
all my life. Me too – I see myself owning different homes
around the world, going around, staying where it’s sunny
and warm, make the most of life,
see our family grow and maybe practise sports. Maybe we will have inspired
young sportspeople. It must be great for parents to see their own children
practise sports and succeed. Yes, that’s for sure. Everything is love
in our lives, I find it hard to choose. We nurture one another. We’re lucky to have
some passion, we advance in life together. Being together
and living our passion, our sport together as a couple,
is the most beautiful thing. I think there’s nothing
stronger for a couple. (A GAME FOR TWO –

9 thoughts on “Elodie & Valentin: Five Sports and a Bit of Foolishness | Game for Two

  1. Porque no sacan deportistas Mexicanos? en los Juegos Olimpicos pasados un Mexicano gano plata en este deporte, acaso hay algun tipo de preferencia o que???

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