4 questions to Marin Garrigues
The world champion and 110 and 60m hs record holder M45 on the Marseille International Track and Field meeting for All
Q : Marin Garrigues, unveils for our readers your awards …
A : I have a somewhat unusual track record in athletics, I started with road racing (10 km, marathons and semi marathons), then gradually I came to the sprints and the hurdles and I became one of the best regional athletes and I went regularly to the France championships. I was ranked around the 20th place in France in the 110m hs. Another characteristic, I trained very little and I continue to train very little which explains maybe my longevity. Finally I’ve never had a coach. Training for me is a personal discovery and a permanent questioning, I do not imagine delegating these questions to a coach.
All that to say that my athletic practice does not summarize evidently to a list of awards, it is initially a quest for knowledge, of myself and of the others: of myself in situations of learning, confrontation, emulation; of myself in extreme situations as competition is an extreme situation, mobilizing resources that are not normally used; of myself during a continuously moving project, as learning is a long-term endeavor. The awards take on a meaning precisely when the questions of performance, of decline and of the meaning one gives to its practice become major: my level was average when I was younger but as a Master it becomes “exceptional”. Yet I am the same person, and I run less quickly than before… strange isn’t it? What was the question? Ah yes, the record: world champion M45 in 2012, 5 times European champion and 11 times France national champion. European record holder M45 of the 60m et 110m hs.
I must say that the records are what I am most sensitive to, because a record means that to this day nobody in the world has done better than you, but, at the same time, the simple fact of saying it, of recording it (it’s the meaning of the word “record”), means that the record has to be superseded sooner or later. I like this paradox, breaking a record makes this new record ephemeral…
Q : World champion … and member of MUST, an association where performances are not at the center! How is it possible?
A : I do not know, I pass 🙂
How? You really want an answer?
Ok, let’s say that being a world champion is not a performance or that you’re wrong and that at MUST the performances are in fact at the center … 🙂 Or that all this is not related… the important thing is to have people who help you and that you can help. This may be because on Thursday night you do your training session with a group rather than alone, or because on Tuesday someone asks you for tips on how to get better in the long jump. A conviviality which for me takes the meaning of solidarity. And in my sport, my investment, I need that meaning to continue.
Q : What does the “International Track and Field Meeting for All” means for you?
A : It means a lot!!! First of all because it will take place at Delort stadium and I almost started track and field in this stadium a long time ago. Then because it’s in Marseille and I’m from Marseille. Then because the club that helps the organization is the SCO Sainte Marguerite and that was my first club. And finally, because participating in an event like this meeting, which exists by the desire and the will of MUST, I find it extraordinary! It proves to all that people act, that citizens are involved in making this city alive. This event is a proof that each one, according to his desires, his skills, his commitments, can “make”, can realize social bonds, cohesion …. It goes far beyond the framework of athletics and sport.
Q : How does an athlete, and what an athlete!, heterosexual fit in in a sports association LGBT-friendly like MUST?
A : Thinking about this question, it comes to me the image of the struggles for civil rights of the blacks in the United States …. If I had been a white in those years in the USA what would I have done?
I cannot answer the question because I was not there. But today, here and now, I can act against discrimination, modestly, at my low level, showing by my commitment to MUST that there is no place for discrimination … neither based on sex nor on religion, on the color of your skin nor on sexual orientation … Each of us creates the world around us, so we are responsible for the universe in which we evolve. Some people, courageous, have created this structure, MUST, with this idea of fighting discrimination. It is up to all of us, all those who defend these values, to support it. This is the meaning of my commitment.
4 questions to George Melichar
the marathon and ultra-marathon runner, USA T&F Master, Federation of Gay Games board member and sportswear designer on the International Track and Field Meeting for All of Marseille
Q: Would you like to introduce yourself for the meet participants?
A: My name is George Melichar and I am from New Orleans, Louisiana – USA. I am passionate thrower, marathon & ultra-marathon runner. When able I dedicate my time to charitable causes and human rights advocacy.
Q: Why did you agree to be a “parrain” for the First Marseille International Track and Field Meeting for All?
A: Marseille and France have a special place in my heart rooted in friendship, sports and in being a proud member of the club Marseille United Sports pour Tous (MUST).
Q: Why you think that an athlete, elite or amateur, should participate? Will you participate yourself and, if so, in which events?
A: My athletic motto is simple: Any athlete can achieve elite goals without being an elite athlete! One athlete’s goal is not greater or lesser than any other athlete’s goal… WE (athlete, official, volunteer, spectator and community) ARE ALL STRONGER TOGETHER UNITED IN PURSUIT OF THE FINISH LINE!
I’ll participate in the 5k, shot put and long jump!
Q: How do you become a member of MUST and what do you like of this association? Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
A: I completed the application after I made friends with club members at the Gay Games 9.
MUST members have become my friends and extended family; furthermore, the diverse sports options for all levels of experience from beginner/1st time to experienced are just perfect for anyone.
I greatly enjoy visiting the city of Marseille and the empowered energy the city and people excite in the conversation towards a greater global sharing of ideas… and I love running past
the Vieux Port… and visiting the historical Fort Saint Jean 🙂 SEE YOU IN MARSEILLE IN JULY 2017!!!
4 questions to André Giraud
the newly elected president of the French Federation of Track and Field on the International Track and Field Meeting for All of Marseille
Q: André Giraud, you are the newly elected president of the French Federation of Track and Field … and you became a member of MUST. Could you explain what motivated you to join our association?
A: Historically, Giampiero, the current president of MUST, several years ago, before MUST existed, was a member of the athletics section of the SCO Sainte Marguerite, of which I was president. When he founded MUST, and created an athletics section, it was natural for me to invite them to become a local LGBT-friendly section of SCO Athletics, to help them with their logistics. On the other hand, MUST contributes to enrich the diversity of the SCO, whose capacity to welcome new members in a family way is quite superb. Becoming a member of MUST is just another chapter of this beautiful story based on mutual respect and admiration and a way to emphasize that MUST’s efforts are well recognized at the French federal level.
Q: Can you define in a few words what the concept of “sport for all” means to you?
A: Access to sport for the greatest possible majority of French is one of the goals of the Ministry of Sport and surely of the French Federation of Track and Field. We support all methods aiming to bring French people closer to sports, especially those who, for various reasons, such as homophobia, may have had problems in doing so during their youth or even now. If elite athletes are those who make the front page, and with great merit of course, they are only a small minority of track and field practitioners. They are the result of a sports movement which goes from the school system all the way to the development of sport for master athletes.
Q: Why did you decide to support the International Meeting of Athletics for All?
A: I find this new idea to bring together amateur and elite athletes, LGBT and non, young and old, very interesting and innovative and of course I also helped building it, as the SCO Sainte Marguerite is a partner of this event. A meeting where one expects very beautiful sport performances and which also emphasizes the fight against all discriminations can only be strongly supported!
Q: How do you see the LGBT-friendly international sports movement today?
A: The FFA (tn: French Federation of Track and Field) is a partner of the Gay Games X, which will take place in Paris in August 2018. We expect more than 10000 athletes from all continents, all sports combined. Despite their name, the Gay Games, founded by the American decathlete Tom Waddell, Olympian in Mexico City, in 1982 in San Francisco, are open to all, LGBT and heterosexuals, with no need for minima to participate. The International Meeting of Athletics for All will be a trampoline for Paris 2018 and I invite all French athletes and of course athletes from all other countries to come to Marseille for this event as well as to discover this beautiful Mediterranean city.