January 7, 2009

Benoît Caranobe: "Because of My Advanced Age, I Need More and More Time to Warm Up My Rusty Joints"

A few days ago we published a story about France's Olympic silver medalist on vault, Thomas Bouhail, from Le Nouvel Observateur. Now we have another story on France's other Olympic medalist, all-arounder Benoît Caranobe, from the same source. The story originally appeared in Le Nouvel Observateur on December 28 and contains interesting tidbits on Caranobe's current training conditions and his unusual plans for his life after gymnastics. Enjoy...

Benoît Caranobe kisses his Olympic bronze medal (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Gymnastics: Caranobe is getting ready to live through a tricky season

Because of work going on at Insep (French National Institute for Sport and Physical Education), the gymnast Benoît Caranobe, bronze medalist in Beijing, is today obliged to roam from gym to gym in order to be able to train properly.

Third in the all-around competition at the Games, the gymnast from Noisy-le-Grand is not giving up, however.

"To be in best form for the all-around competition, the ideal situation is to work on all six apparatus in one training session. But this season, because of the work going on at Insep, that is going to be impossible," he explained.

As a result, the all-arounder must go from one gym to the other between Noisy-le-Grand in Seine Saint-Denis and Sain-Maur-des-Fossés in Val-de-Marne, ignoring the presence of schoolchildren and the absence of a pit for working on new elements.

"The first challenge will of course be to learn new movements on a hard surface without hurting myself. The second one will be to continue getting up on to the podium even if from now on they will be expecting me. Each time I participate, I'll need to reaffirm my rank," he warned.

(photo: Reuters)

A future wine merchant

Following three "difficult" years during which he was plagued with injuries, Benoît Caranobe, aged 28, is expecting fresh difficulties.

"Not only will I have few opportunities left, but they will also not be extendable. And because of my advanced age, I need more and more time to warm up my rusty joints," he said with humor.

His first international meet with an all-around competition will be the renowned American Cup, on February 21st in Chicago. Then in April, the gymnast from Noisy would very much like to take the floor title at the European Championships in April. In 2004, he won a bronze medal at the Europeans in the team competition.

From October 12th to 18th at the World Championships in London, he would like to reaffirm his Olympic medal or show that the can "also be a specialist on all apparatus."

Between Milan and London, the Mediterranean Games, held in Pescara, Italy, from June 26th to July 5th, will serve him "as a time for preparation and adjustments."

In 2009, Benoît Caranobe will also set himself another challenge, that of assuring himself a comfortable future. In order to do this, the son of a former mountain soldier will open a wine cellar in Noisy-le-Grand.

The future wine merchant's treasure will be primarily composed of vintages where the grapes are harvested by former great names of French sport.

(photo: Matt Dunham/AP Photo)

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