Big-Sprinter Bake-Off: Florent Manaudou Vs Caeleb Dressel On ISL Solidarity Swim Camp

Florent Manaudou at the European Championships in Glasgow - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK
Florent Manaudou on drylands - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Forget the Skins and all that dashing about for a moment. Florent Manaudou Vs Caeleb Dressel. On your marks, set, go: haricots verts rolled in bacon, followed by tarte au citron.

Visualizing what five weeks of the International Swimming League Solidarity Camp, with a Reality TV twist, might look like, Manaudou says:

“If I have to cook with Caeleb Dressel it would be amusing. We shouldn’t go too far from the sporting side because that’s what brings us together. But I’m open to new things, I like to try new things. If we go for a TV ‘entertainment’ format, it wouldn’t bother me.”

Be warned, Caeleb Dressel. Manaudou is already steeped in training for the match, at stake the reputation of famous French cuisine. He tells L’Equipe: “I’m still confined to Marseille, I have my terrace to do a little sport. Jogging is not for me, swimmers are not made to run. I have some equipment that I took to the Cercle (his Marseille swim club) before leaving.

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“I have a medicine ball, I installed a TRX (muscle strengthening straps) … I have no particular objective in terms of quantity and time spent, I do as I feel.

“I lost weight, inevitably when you do not workout (in the gym), you lose weight. There may be a second phase, in which I gain weight – we will see. For now, everything is fine, I have a normal life. I cook a little, yesterday I made haricots verts rolled in bacon.”

Like swimmers the world over, Manaudou, the Olympic 50m freestyle champion of 2012, is at home in confinement. He says:

“I don’t miss swimming … I’d already stopped swimming for a few years, so I’m absolutely not worried about the future. “

The French sprinter has the edge on many when it comes to the lucky stars to be counted this Easter at the heart of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Manaudou is not only a star turn on the Energy Standard ISL squad, he’s one of 30 League ambassadors too, and as such will receive a monthly wage of between $3,500 and $5,000 between September and July next year as part of a solidarity scheme for 320 swimmers at a cost of $6 million courtesy of Konstantin Grigorishin, the ISL founder and funder.

Manaudou is looking forward to a return to the League and the company of excellence. He tells L’Equipe:

“The ISL has launched an innovative solidarity program.. All swimmers will be paid $1,500 for ten months! I also have an ambassador contract with ISL, so it’s a little different for me. This is how Konstantin helping us. We all have advertising contracts, equipment suppliers and sponsorships, which will perhaps decrease with the health crisis. Everyone has their own problems, but it feels good to be able to count on a monthly salary. It’s nice to be supported like that. It is very innovative for swimming.

“This season, the ISL format changes. All the teams will be gathered in the same place … Swimming is an old sport and it’s hard to be new. The ISL is an innovator. It’s cool, it means I will travel and meet swimmers I don’t yet know. It gives a boost financially and brings swimming to the public.”

He notes the short-course condensed nature of the League and says that attending ISL camp in October-November “will not disturb my preparation for the 2021 Olympic Games”, adding:

“I need to compete, I noticed that I needed that last winter (in his first race season after comeback). It’s always good to face the best. I really enjoyed myself last year, in addition we [Energy] won the ISL [season trophy] and I delivered the last point for my team. If I can relive that … I see myself being available then for the 2021-22 season.”

Paris 2024, a home Olympics at 33 years of age?

“After that (2022), there’s just two years to 2024 until 2024, there are only two years left. I see myself continuing, as long as I have fun in my sport and I’m discovering things.”