Agnel feels like ‘alien’ after two gold medals
LONDON- Agence France-PresseFrance’s rising star Yannick Agnel has admitted his gold medals in the London pool have left him feeling like an “alien” as he adjusts to life as an Olympic champion.
Having anchored the French team with a stunning display in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay to touch out Ryan Lochte and claim gold on July 29, Agnel underlined his growing status with victory in the 200-meter freestyle final a day later.
It prompted French President Francois Hollande to come down from the stands to meet Agnel in the mixed zone to tell him how “very proud” France were of their new Olympic hero.
Paris may have lost out on hosting the 2012 Games, but the French are having their revenge in the pool with three golds after Agnel’s title, the relay win and Camille Muffat’s success in the women’s 400m freestyle.
More success could follow for Agnel in the 50m and 100m freestyle, with the 4x200m freestyle relay still to come.
“Since last (Monday) night, I feel like an alien! It is quite funny and cool,” said Agnel. “I think it will take until the end of the week to think about what has happened.”
Having been advised by Hollande not to neglect his studies, Agnel is working towards his masters in International Business at university in Nice and has ambitions to study in the United States.
Agnel was a rarity at the European short-course championships in December 2009 when, as a 16-year-old, he insisted on wearing traditional swimming trunks. His rivals were clad in fast high-tech suits, but Agnel insisted he wanted to feel normal in the water, with the suits banned from events after the championships in Istanbul.