Arena is a SwimSwam partner.
For the past 4 years, Arena elite athlete Marc-Antoine Olivier has been France’s top open water swimmer. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Olivier snagged the bronze medal in the men’s 10 kilometer event, touching simultaneously with Zu Lijun of China. A year later, he dominated the 2017 World Championships, winning gold medals in the 5 kilometer race and the mixed team event in addition to a bronze in the 10km, earning him FINA’s Best Male Open Water Swimmer Award.
Olivier defended his bronze medal in the 10km in 2019, and is now looking ahead to the 2021 Olympics.
Despite the difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Olivier says he was training well at home and picked up a new hobby in running, “I went back to my family home in the North of France where I was able to continue to train and especially have access to water thanks to my neighbors who have a 9m swimming pool. I was doing a 1-hour swimming session every day.” In order to stay on track, he’s also done 2 strength training sessions and 1 run per day.
Now, he’s back alongside his teammates and coach Philippe Lucas, “We started again as soon as we had the opportunity. First, we started in a campsite with a 50m swimming pool and for the past month, we are back in Montpellier.” Under Lucas, Olivier says he enjoys doing long-distance sets, his favorites of which are:
- 4×2000 start 22:30
- 2000 start 22:30
- 2×1000 start 11:15
- 4×500 start 5:45
Through everything, Olivier is optimistic about the situation regarding the Olympics and looking forward to competing in Tokyo after having a great Olympics in Rio, “The Olympic Games are a truly extraordinary event and I had the chance to experience them 4 years ago in Rio! I want to relive these emotions and especially perform better. I am only at the beginning of my career so one more year does not scare me.
Although he does not have any specific plans going into 2021, Olivier is also looking forward to competing again, beginning at the Meeting of the 7 Hills in Roma this August, and then competing at the Italian Open Water Championship.