“I am a medical intern and a high level athlete”

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Au Qatar, en octobre 2019, Gabriel Bordier, étudiant en médecine, est arrivé 24e aux Mondiaux d'athlétisme de Doha. Il vise une médaille à Paris aux Jeux Olympiques de 2024.

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Posted on Dec. 2021 at 9:00Updated Dec 16, 2021 2021 at 16:15

“In high school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do later. The sciences interested me, I hesitated between a university of biology or medicine. I believe that the competition for the first year in medicine motivated me to join this course, because of my taste for competition.

To have a chance to pass in second year, I preferred to ease off on athletics. I started this discipline at 6 years old, at the Saint-Berthevin club (Mayenne), 200 meters from the family home, until I specialized in athletic walking as a teenager. In high school, I trained four or five times a week.

In the first year of medicine, I would run once or twice a week after class, just to keep myself up. On weekends, I would go home to my parents to train with my coach. Finally, I passed my first year on the first try! At that time, I asked my university if it was possible to have a schedule arranged to reconcile studies and sport. I was answered favorably. It allowed me to train well and perform. In 2017, I won the bronze medal in the 20 kilometer walk at the European Championships in Athletics in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

A good ranking in ECN

In the fourth year, the externship begins, during which one is normally on an internship in the morning and in class in the afternoon. To put all the chances on my side, I asked to be able to train in the afternoon, and to revise on my side in the evening. I was also authorized to be absent for my various courses and competitions.

I had my sights set on the Tokyo Olympics planned for 2021. I preferred to do my fifth year in two years in order to have time to train seriously, without compromising my current success. The Games were finally postponed for a year and I had to prepare for it in parallel with my sixth year, which ended with the National Classifying Events (ECN).

I picked up the 552e place out of 9,000 in this competition. A ranking beyond my expectations. My goal was to finish in the top 2,000 or 3,000, to have a chance to stay in Angers. It was much easier not to move because I have my physiotherapist here, my habits, my training places… My classification even allowed me to choose the specialty I wanted: rheumatology.

A few weeks after these results, I flew to Tokyo. The competition took place in Sapporo, more than 800 km from the capital. My goal: to be in the top sixteen – I had finished 24e at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, in 2021 and wanted to do better. I finally got away with a nice 24e place on 60, in 1 h 25'23.

The 2024 Olympics in the sights

Since the start of the school year, I have reduced the focus on sport, the time to take my marks as an intern at the University Hospital of Angers. The pace is quite intense. Sometimes I work from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the hospital, which leaves me a little less time to train. In the idea, I would like to be able to train two hours a day and increase in intensity on the weekends.

I don't want to choose between medicine and sport. For me, the two are complementary. I found my way into medicine and love everything we are taught. Sport allows me to decompress and work more efficiently. Conversely, studying medicine allows me to approach athletics more calmly. No matter what the outcome of a competition is, my life is not on the line. My medical studies also give me an understanding of the human body, injury management and nutrition that comes in handy.

I obviously have a little less time for a drink or party than others. Reconciling sport and medicine requires a certain rigor, but it is doable. Other athletes prove it: Margot Chevrier, Yann Schrub, Pierrik Jocteur…

My training in rheumatology will allow me, if I want to, to specialize in sports medicine, but I'm not sure I want to yet. For now, I want to continue to flourish in medicine and athletics, progressing in competition and then going to seek a medal in London at the Olympic Games in 2024. To do this, I do not exclude anything. Maybe I will ask for a white semester in my boarding school to prepare myself for it as well as possible. “

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