The French news site L’equipe, which has been on the front edge of the developing Yannick-Agnel-to-United-States story, has posted some quotes from his press conference on Tuesday. There, he made the news official that he would begin training with Bob Bowman, the head coach of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, the head coach to the World Championship squad, and the man who coached Michael Phelps to 8 golds at the Beijing Olympics and 18 total gold medals.
Bowman now has on his resume the names of the last two Olympic champions in the men’s 200 free, Phelps from 2008, and Agnel from 2012, plus the 2012 women’s champion, Allison Schmitt.
Among the more interesting quotes was Agnel’s discussion of why he’d left Fabrice Pellerin: one of the hottest coaches in the world right now.
“I want to find with Bob Bowman what was lacking in Nice: warmth, sharing, sincerity,” Agnel said, roughly, in French. “That Fabrice has always wanted to avoid. He always wanted to put distance between himself and his swimmers. It is a choice that I respect and that works, I’m a double Olympic champion and I owe him. Maybe one day we can discuss everything. At this point, it is not suitable for this discussion. But there are things that will stay personal between Fabrice and myself.”
Agnel also committed to swim with Bowman until the 2016 Olympics, and referenced the allure of swimming with the legend, or myth, that is the coach of the great Phelps.
As for when his training with Bowman would become full time, he said that those details are still being worked out: either he would head to work with Bowman now, or he would find a temporary location in France until the Championships and head stateside afteward.