While standing in Hyde Park almost foggy in the eyes and talking with such passion about Brownlees in London 2012, one would imagine that Vincent Luis was thinking ahead to Paris 2024.
The iconic race, in which Alistair took gold and Jonny claimed bronze, clearly left an indelible mark on Vincent’s memory. A home crowd passion that literally made the ground shake and the way they cheered their favorites in Olympic honor.
Luis once again stood at the starting point of the 2012 Olympic triathlon for men during the filming of the latest episode of his Super League Triathlon documentary series, which was released this week. He remembered it as if it were just yesterday.
Vincent Luis in London 2012
“It was crazy, I think they said it was a million people or something. It was insane, it was big.
“I remember they called us on the pontoon for line-up and all. At the Olympics, you are not called by your world rankings, but simply by the pontoon draw or whatever.
“The French, we were already on the pontoon, and when they called the two brothers, I remember the noise – it was crazy, the ground was shaking. I remember everyone in the pontoon looking at each other, like what the hell is going on! It was insane .
“These guys, the pressure they had and they delivered – respect them honestly because they had their names everywhere, pictures on the bus, everywhere – and yet they did. It was crazy. Eleven years ago. Makes me feel old. “
Luis may feel old, but as a 32-year-old he is far from finished at the highest level – he will be 35 when the Olympics land in his home country in 2024.
A little taste of Paris 2024
He got a small taste in a COVID world of what it could be like to enjoy success at home after winning the Mixed Relay bronze in Tokyo thanks to a post-Japan party in Paris. However, it was not something he initially looked forward to after finishing in 13th place in the individual race based on an injury preparation.
“Of course I was looking forward to showing the gold medal around before the race, but that is not the case. Beforehand, I just do not feel that it is something useful, I thought ‘no one will be there, it will be a waste of time’.
“But then you just see people’s smiles, the kids’ smiles when they can carry the medal and touch it, and it’s nice for people to actually see the athletes and feel a little bit of the atmosphere from the Olympics.”
(Another) Olympic countdown
Thanks to COVID, the Olympic runway to Paris is already short, and thoughts inevitably go to 2024 and what lies between now and then.
“The next Olympics is three years, it’s really short. You can not waste weeks and days of training,” said Luis.
“I’d better take advantage of the next three years, because they will be the last three years of my short-distance career. I just want to enjoy every single day, just have fun, do what I love to do.
“Come out and train, whether it’s raining or whether it’s sunshine – do what I want and what I love to do. And yes, just get the best out of the next three years. “