Yann Guyader: Review at Mid-season with EOSkates
Hello Yann, a new episode has started for you with your arrival at EOSkates'. What is your role within the team?
As an athlete I am in a way the captain of the team. Even if there is no real established hierarchy in the team, I try to give the good impulse in being quite offensive during races. So that the team gets the best results as possible. Moreover, I am not a natural leader in the way that I am not the kind who will give orders. I would rather expect that people take initiatives when necessary during the races, and that they are self-sufficient and set themselves standards as high as I set them for myself. It has been working very well for the moment. I have to say that skating with team mates such as Julien Levrard makes things a lot easier as until now our understanding has been excellent and very clear during races. Both of us know what we have to do and when.
You are not limited to skating… what is your role within the society?
Indeed it was more or less the objective when I joined EO. More than just a skater, I am above all an ambassador of the brand around the world. I promote the brand in diverse ways: as an athlete through my results but also in being in charge of the communication with various media (Facebook, Twitter, OLS and other websites).
Last but not least, I also take care of the promotion and organization of the distribution of EOSkates in Latin America with Cecilia (Baena) in order to introduce the brand on a very competitive market.
EOSkates has communicated a lot in 2012, how is the brand going?
The brand is going well. It is even suffering from its success. Demand is strong and we cannot alway satisfy everybody. I think that the brand has established itself on the word skating scene in proving that its technological lead compared to the other brands was more than just a fad. I would say that it has found the legitimacy it deserves thanks to very good results and a pertinent communication.
What are the prospects for 2012-2013?
The aim is to double the sales, which we have already done this year in reaching the volume of the annual sales of 2011 at the end of the first semester. Our goal is to build on the momentum in 2013 and why not to vary the concept a bit more. We have several good innovative projects in stock…
You are not taking part in the World and the European Championships… Why?
Just because I did not take part in the French Championships. After a victorious come back last year with the French Team, in order to legitimize a status that some people would have seen themselves challenge, it seemed more relevant to me to devote myself to the promotion of EOSkates in the world. Besides, during the French Championships on road, there was the marathon in Incheon where I went and beat Bart Swings. I think that I made the good decision as I won again in Coblence one week later. It enabled EO to make a buzz. It was just a question of priorities…
Do you miss the French Team?
Not at all, and I never missed it when I was not in it for a simple reason: When I skate with the French Team, I skate above all for the challenge offered by the international championships (challenging the best skaters in the world remains something quite exciting), more than for the pride of wearing the French suit. I have a deep respect for what it stands for… But I give priority to personal challenge.
An article on Schaatsen.nl interviewed you on your position as for ice skating. Are you finished with it?
I have never really thought about it. I did ice skating more than 10 years ago but I never really got into it as I am not fond of solitary efforts. I think that the essence of racing itself is the direct confrontation with your opponents and all the hazards it involves. I respect the athletes who try their luck and I wish them all the best, but I do not think that this is a sport for me and trying my luck would not have any sense, especially so late in my career. I do not dream about taking part in the Olympics, as my goal is never to take part but to win. And I know that I could never have done it. And life is made in such a way that it would have been impossible anyway as I spend most of my time in Columbia where obviously ice sports do not exist. I leave it to those who have the will and the capacities, which is not my case.
What are your goals for the months / years to come?
I go back to Columbia on Wednesday to train at high altitude (2700 m) for a month, with the end-season objective to win the German Inline Cup and Berlin, the only race I miss.
For the rest, I do not have precise goals, and I think that my goals will be those of EO and MPC above all. I will try to win what they want me to win. I will also try to bring younger skaters to the top in skating by my side. I personally won everything I wanted to and now I also have to think about the "aftermath" while remaining 100% involved in what I do in the moment. In no way should I not take things seriously, especially when people like those of EOSkate put in to give us the opportunity to lead the lives we live.
The end of your career is for soon?
99% sure for the end of 2013, at the end of my contract with EO-MPC or July 2014 if Nantes has the chance to organize the European Championships. This could be a nice way to bring the curtain down.
According to you, who are the French skaters who will represent the country best in the following years?
I think that all our efforts should turn toward the generations who are currently in the Junior Categories. I think that there is no reason that France continues its downward spiral in the world scene. There are talented skaters in France like everywhere in the world. If they are well taken care of, there is no reason why they could not be the champions of tomorrow. For example, I think of Benjamin Pierre-Jean, Yassin Baroudi, Raphael Planelles…
Thanks Yann! And good luck for the rest!
Translation : Close Yr E's