Paris Olympics / Disabled

Gueules de sport : Thibaut Rigaudeau

As an active member of the French paratriathlon team, follow Thibaut Rigaudeau's preparations for the Paris 2024 Games.

The Games are not always about what you think. For some, "the important thing is to take part", for others it's a medal or nothing, and then there's Thibaut Rigaudeau. The member of the French paratriathlon team is looking ahead to one thing: the legacy left by the Paralympic Games organised in Paris, from 28 August to 8 September 2024, for people with disabilities.

"Despite a disability, you can still play top-level sport"

It's a very important thing because we're developing infrastructures in terms of accessibility, and it helps people realise that despite their disability, they can still play sport," maintains the 33-year-old athlete. You can do top-level sport, and you have skills like everyone else and you're capable of developing them."

Thibaut Rigaudeau knows all about it. At the Tokyo Games in 2021, he came fourth in the PTVI (partially or totally visually impaired) paratriathlon category. A place at the foot of the podium was undoubtedly a little frustrating, but it didn't dampen his determination.

In 2022, he became world and European runner-up, before winning another medal, this time bronze, at the European Championships in 2023.

This performance is all the more remarkable given that Thibaut Rigaudeau discovered paratriathlon late, in 2018. Diagnosed at the age of 8 with retinitis pigmentosa, which causes a progressive loss of sight, he played football for a long time, before switching to cecifoot, a sport for the visually impaired. In 2011, he even represented France at the World Cup.

Preparing for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

© Thibaut Rigaudeau - Gueules de sport

For his training, Thibaut likes to run in the serres d'Auteuil. "I feel like I'm in the countryside. It's bucolic," he says. This green escape offers him a soothing setting, far from the urban hustle and bustle, and allows him to reconnect with nature, an essential aspect of his daily well-being.

Now a resident of Boulogne-Billancourt, south-west of Paris, Thibaut Rigaudeau has kept a strong link with his love of football: "Living right next to the Parc des Princes (PSG's stadium), you feel the emotions a little when there are matches, and it allows me to experience sport a little from home, because I hear everything that's going on, and it's really powerful in terms of emotions when there are goals at the Parc des Princes".

On 2 September, at the Paralympic Games, it could well be his turn to stir the emotions during the gruelling paratriathlon event, comprising 750m of open water swimming, 20km of cycling and 5km of running. No mean feat. He will be able to count on some very special support: Héloïse Courvoisier, his partner, is also well on her way to taking part in the Games... in the paratriathlon.

Partenaires Gueules de sport

More ideas