Millau: Thomas Richard, maker of the unsinkable kayak, wants to shine at the Natural Games after ten years

Even natural games, find out the athletes who will play at home. Kicker Thomas Richard will participate in the next edition of “NG” from June 23-26 in Mellau

Coming from a family of athletes, Thomas Richard first turned to cycling before going to the MJC open house in Millau with his parents. He is 9 years old and is registered in kayaking. Fifteen years later, the local boy is still rowing in freestyle. What he likes “Above all else is the great outdoors. I am a huge fan of gliding and being in contact with the water.

In the cataract stage, the current Aquavagues, he acquires the basics and progresses with those he describes as “The little rowing family that took us everywhere.” Discipline and then talk. Born in the United States in the 1990s, she arrived in France only a little later: “The competitions were often far from Millau. Very quickly, we moved to the other side of the country”And He explains, emphasizing the opportunity.

In the French national team

It is therefore quite natural that Thomas Richard is happy to participate in the next edition of the Natural Games, from 23-26 June, in Millau, as organizer first and possibly in the Coupe de France Tour among the international competitors present. Kayakers have rallied to this event since the first release. Then in 2016, he joined the office of the organizing association of which he is now co-chair since 2018 with Cathy Aragon.

I had a chance to go down the Zambezi in 2016. The rapids were brutal, it was an extraordinary experience

On an athletic level, Thomas has been in the France team for nearly ten years. In 2013, he was the Junior World Junior Champion in North Carolina, at just 17 years old. The following year, he finished second in the World Cup, competing in three events, including one in NG. His transition to the adult category marked him with several European Cup podiums.

His fondest memories remain, even if he says he had many, of his first descent from the Zambezi River in Africa: “I had this opportunity in 2016, the slopes were brutal, it was an extraordinary experience.”

Paragliding lovers

In parallel with his volunteer activity, Thomas Richard is also a paraglider enthusiast. He’s also made it his job, he’s been a coach for just over ten years. This athlete also enjoys paddle, standing, mountain biking and trail running, in short. “All that can be done here, in Millau.”

If a few years ago he undertook to make his sport known through video lessons, today his association with the National Federation allows him to organize youth freestyle courses, as was the case at the beginning of his career. Public with “girls” “private” session.

And then, realms in the United States

The Free Kayak Final will take place on Saturday, June 25, starting at 2 p.m., at Aquavagues. Thomas Richard has only one wish: “to take off the thirteenth cycle of the Natural Games and be successful.”

His projects focus on organizing the World Cup Tour in NG 2024, ten years after those that allowed him to shine at home. On an athletic level, he would like to stay in the world kayaking circuit. To do this, the week after NG, he will take part in the World Championships.

In October, he will attend the World Cup rounds in the US which will determine the overall classification. So it is a busy schedule waiting for him due to the health crisis with these two events in parallel when they usually alternate. So the rest of 2022 promises him many acrobatic characters.

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