For three years now, Florent Bodin has been following the daily lives of young people at Insep, the National Institute for Sport, Expertise and Performance. This is where the greatest French athletes are trained in the hope of making them Olympic champions. “You are here to win medals. Having the objective of succeeding is mandatory, otherwise you must not stay, ”they hear themselves repeat over this documentary series from France Télévisions, the third season of which is put online on Thursday August 17.
Less than a year from the Paris Olympic Games, the athletes are in the qualification phase, the pressure is at its highest point and everyone is called upon to surpass themselves. Shirine Boukli, judoka, is more combative than ever. Mathilde Wahl, gymnast, gives herself body and soul to get back on her uneven bars after an operation and six months of immobilization. Timothée Adolphe, blind, vice-world champion in sprint, learns to manage his frustration when the guide with whom he trained tells him that he can no longer accompany him.
Adrenaline and tension
“Mental recovery is more complicated than physical recovery,” says the mother of one of the athletes. Luckily, coaches, families and friends are there to help keep them going. From the top of their 20s, these young people try to be philosophers and repeat formulas to themselves, which we feel repeatedly stated by their coach, on how to take hardships: “It shows that I am human”, ” when I see where I come from, I am already proud”.
Fast-paced editing, epic music, sound effects, upside-down images, excerpts from competitions, shocking phrases… Everything seeks to reflect the tension that inhabits the athletes. Whatever the discipline, boxing, breakdance, long jump or even 110 meters hurdles, the camera magnifies the bodies and we feel on the screen a generation having grown up in the culture of the image and who likes to be filmed. . The adrenaline is there.