on the torch relay, a battle wounded man who turned a biking champion | EUROtoday

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VYou could have seen them on metropolis and rural roads. From May 8 to July 26, 10,000 bearers will take turns all through France, with the Olympic flame of their palms. Florent Manaudou, the rapper Soprano, the astronaut Thomas Pesquet would be the key figures of this immense relay, accompanied by different nameless individuals, however whose dedication will likely be saluted.

This is the case of Tim, 29 years outdated, wounded in battle in Mali. On May 19, he will likely be one of many a whole lot of torchbearers for the day within the Hautes-Pyrénées. As an emblem of hope for all troopers, psychologically or bodily affected.

“I had to relearn everything”

The former brigadier-chief of the first Parachute Hussar Regiment (1st RHP) based mostly in Tarbes has come a great distance. On July 23, 2020, a automobile bomb focused his convoy close to the city of Gossi, in central Mali. On board a LAV (mild armored automobile), the automobile blocks his path earlier than exploding. Tim is severely injured. One of his comrades, Brigadier Razafintsalama, 25, was killed. Repatriated between life and loss of life in France, Tim carries out operation after operation for a number of weeks. He loses the usage of one eye, however he’s alive.

“I had to relearn everything,” he remembers, “when I poured water, I either dropped the carafe or it was next to the glass. I was coloring in children's notebooks. » Despite his after-effects, Tim did not plan to leave the 1st RHP and returned to Tarbes a few months later. Direction the regiment's sports office, with defense civilian status.

“I needed sport,” he explains. After all of the surgical procedures and basic anesthesia I had gained weight, I wished to really feel higher about my physique. » It is the observe of biking that can impose itself on him. In 2022, for the “With our wounded” operation, which honors battle wounded to enhance their day by day lives, he climbs 5 passes within the Hautes-Pyrénées in three. He additionally participates within the choices of the French disabled biking crew. A satisfaction for the previous soldier who dons the tricolor outfit.

“I will think of my two families”

The 12 months 2023 feels like a consecration for Tim, who turns into French champion in his time trial class. During the Invictus Games, bringing collectively troopers and wounded veterans from round twenty nations, he gained three medals (two gold, one silver). “When you go on a race in a peloton with 200 cyclists, you have to be ultra-concentrated,” breathes Tim, who should work on his reflexes through the night periods. With just one eye and listening to issues, each curve, each flip is an ordeal in itself.

What will Tim suppose when he carries the Olympic flame? “I’ll consider my two households. Those of the regiment, the comrades who accompany me, those that have left. I additionally wish to present the injured that sport means that you can get again on monitor, that it’s going to take so long as it takes, however you could bounce again. I’ll clearly consider my spouse and my daughter who assist me. »

So between life and loss of life, Tim considered this little one he didn't but know. “I mentioned to myself: 'even when I can't see her, get down and at the very least contact her.' » Her daughter is now three years outdated. Her identify is Victoire.