Yann and Chechy in Columbia (Powerslide nov. 2009)

Yann and Chechy in Columbia.

by Powerslide

Hi Yann, now that the skating season in Europe is over, you have gone to Columbia with your girlfriend Cecilia Baena. what is it like living in Bogota and how long are you going to stay there?
I should stay here about 4 more months until the end of March and then get back to Europe for the first races there. Living in Bogota is actually quite different from living in Europe, first the altitude 2600m makes everything harder, and the city is quite huge so I need to get used to it.

You are one of the best skaters in Europe and now since in Bogota it is already summer you have the chance to challenge the best skaters of Columbia. Is it more difficult to compete with Columbian skaters than with the skaters in europe?
Well actually i do not think that the level here is higher than any other place in world, the only thing is that there's more competitive skaters, i mean the best are not better than the European guys but there's more good skaters,that's why it's gonna be quite an exciting challenge for me to compete over here versus all those guys, it actually already started because almost every training is kinda like a competition. I'll see next week if racing here is gonna be tougher than Europe but i guess it should be more or less the same and I hope my experience is going to help me to be able to win either way.

What is your everyday life like? are you both training in the same intensity like during the World Cup season? The Columbians are said to be really professional and hard working in their training sessions, is this statement true and do they train in a different, perhaps more complex way?
Ahhhh... that's the biggest difference i've noticed arriving here, the daily life here is way different from my daily life in Europe... First no more studies but instead of that I have to wake up at 5AM 3 times a week to bike, which I usually never do in Europe, and I have to say that it's quite tough at the beginning especially when you feel great under the blankets..hehe. Regarding the training i'm actually not doing all the excercises others are doing as I'm preparing the European season and i'm scared that i could blow off before the end of the European season if I would train as they do. The Colombians for sure do not train as the majority of the European skater do. I do not think that they train harder, but they train much more, i mean the intensity is not higher and i would say lower but the volume is crazy higher, they spend all day at the track which is quite different from what we are used to in Europe, and well concerning the organization, we have to admit that this is a reality that things here are well organized with coaches, infrastructures etc. This is not what makes the difference because for example France is the country with the most infrastructures, I mean coaches paid by the goverment, special schools etc and we can easily see that the results are not following... the main difference is that Colombians are just all willing to be "a champion" once in there life.

Christmas time is coming. Are you going to spend christmas together with Chechy in Bogota?
Indeed I'm going to stay here in Colombia for Christmas and New Years, but we're gonna move to Cartagena after racing in Medellin, to join her family and it's actually good news as we are going to enjoy sunny days, beach...etc.


We wish you a nice time in Columbia, good luck for the competitions and a happy Christmas time. Thank you for giving us the report!

Newsletter November '09