Olympic Competitor Laurent Carnol on His Start in Rio
Laurent Carnol, one of the leading lights of European swimming and instructor at LUNEX University (www.lunex-university.net), is currently in Rio de Janeiro representing Luxembourg at the Olympic Games.
LUNEX: Laurent, how important is competing in the Olympics for athletes?
Carnol: This is the ultimate goal for every athlete. It’s the biggest sporting event in the world and something that you dream about as a little kid. For a competitive athlete, qualifying for the Olympics is the absolute dream and it’s what motivates one to go through all the demands and sacrifices of training.
LUNEX: What’s your goal for the 2016 Olympics?
Carnol: My goal for the Rio games is to make it to the semifinals for the 200m breaststroke. Once you make it that far, you just have to see what happens. Everything beyond that is just the icing on the cake. Fundamentally, the goal is always to get a personal best. If you do that, you can be sure that you’ve given your utmost. I’ll be starting in the 100m and 200m breaststroke. My favorite is the 200m breaststroke.
LUNEX: What countries and athletes are particularly strong in these events right now?
Carnol: The competitive level in these events, especially in the 200m breaststroke, is very high right now and there are more skilled competitors than ever. There are many athletes from different countries who will have a good chance at competing for a medal. I guess I would particularly mention the Americans Josh Prenot and Kevin Cordes, the German Marco Koch, the British athletes around Andrew Willis and the defending Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta from Hungary. All these athletes have been less than a second away from the current world record in the last year and they have good chances to win the gold medal.
LUNEX: What advice do you have for young athletes who want to compete internationally?
Carnol: The most important piece of advice I have is that hard work always pays off. Talent only gets you so far. If you really want to get to a good start, you have to be ready to push yourself to your physical limits and keep working on yourself in your training. But sports should always be fun. To reach your goals, it’s important that you enjoy yourself and feel comfortable with your sport.
Length of interview: 2,237 characters (including spaces); printable images available on request