Star of French handball, double gold medalist at the Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and five-time world champion, the Alsatian Thierry Omeyer is in Toulouse until Saturday, to admire the stars of padel, but also to play: he played an exhibition at 4Padel of Colomiers, the “All Star Padel game”. Associated with the best French player Benjamin Tison, he finished 1er of his hen (see the composition in image, below…).
Behind the scenes at Human Padel Open, the best goalkeeper of all time (*) kindly answered our questions.
Padel Magazine : Thierry, how did you dive into the bath of padel ?
Thierry Omeyer: “I've always played tennis in the summer to keep in shape. And then one day I tried the padel and I immediately liked it. I have been playing regularly for a year and a half or two years and it is a sport where I have fun. When I quit handball, I needed to continue playing sports. I find a lot of things that exist in the hand, such as reflexes on the fly, small movements… so it's very nice, with a friendly side and a really top state of mind. In addition, it allows me to maintain my physical condition and to spend myself, so I love it.
I also do a little running, but the fun side is more present when I play padel with friends, which I try to do once a week. I also play a little in tournaments because the competitive side still exists, even if I am very very far from my level in handball [Editor's note: it is 3198e French, with 11 tournaments played over the past year]. The competition, it gives a little challenge, we try to do the best possible. I try to choose my partners well, too. »
PM: Cyril Hanouna is not in line to play with you?
TO: “No, I don't have the level because he chooses very good players. I'm going slowly, I'm having fun, that's the main thing. »
PM: There are a lot of footballers who are fans of padel, but are there also former handball players?
TO: “Yes, a few, there is Jérôme Fernandez, who by the way is also here in Toulouse and also played the All Star Padel Game. Valentin Porte, who is still active, is playing very well. And the Karabatic brothers also play a little, especially in the summer. »
PM: When will a center of padel Thierry Omeyer?
TO: “No, it's not planned, I'm just a player. But I am happy to see that centers are being built all over France and that this sport is developing”.
(*) According to a vote organized in 2010 by the International Handball Federation.
After 40 years of tennis, Jérôme falls into the pot of padel in 2018. Since then, he thinks about it every morning while shaving… but never shaves pala in hand! Journalist in Alsace, he has no other ambition than to share his passion with you, whether you speak French, Italian, Spanish or English.