– Professional Paratriathlete, and Snow Skier –
“A dream I once had of winning gold in the sport I loved most, was ignited.”
Yannick Bourseaux is a French Paralympic Triathlete, Cross-Country Skier, and Paralympic Biathlete who currently lives in the city of Aubiere in France. A sports lover since he remembers, began practicing swimming and running which took him to get involved in the sport of triathlon at the age of 14. Passionate about triathlons, he was selected by the French Team at 17 years old, who maintained this status for 10 consecutive years, even while he was attending the University and working at the same time.
Until 2004, he was competing as a great Elite triathlete, but during a training session, his life took an unexpected turn; a terrible bicycle accident during training changed his life forever… Resuscitation, neurosurgery, and rehabilitation procedures were only a part of what Yannick needed during at that time, and despite, how difficult those days were, his perseverance and desire to push himself kept him alive!”
Yannick now has a partially paralyzed right arm, but this never stopped him to continue competing in triathlons. After 14 months from the accdent, he decided to participate at the Paratriathlon World Champion, and promissed himself to begin training for this new goal after finishing his treatment at the rehabilitation center. Five months later, he was honored to represent France at the Paralympics in Turin on two different categories: Sky and Biathlon. He is now fully devoted to these two sports with the hope of sometime winning a medal at the Paralympic Games, which will fill him with a lot of pride.
The decision to commit to paratriathlon was not impertinent. Bourseaux had been sporadically participating in paratriathlons since 2006, but had become more serious after participating at the 2011 ITU Paratriathlon World Championship in Beijing, where he said the competiveness of the sport had dramatically increased since he first tried it.
Among the biggest challenges this far has been learning to swim with one arm, Yannick says. Committing full-time to paratriathlon will give him enough time to qualify to Paralympics in Rio 2016. “Since September, (I have) put down 37 seconds on my 400m personal time,” he said. It’s difficult in finding specific training for the one-arm swim, but Yannick has been introduced to different techniques to improve his swimming skills. During the winter, he stays away from the pool, which represents a big problem for him due to swimming is not his strongest part of the paratriathlon.
Yannick training consists in approximately 15 to 20 hours a week. “If I train more, my body doesn’t recover enough. I get tired and ultimately I can’t put together good sessions.” Yanick says. He typically trains two times a day; he swims about three or four times a week in the pool and one time in open water, rides for about 300-350 kms. with one session on a wind-trainer, and runs about 50 kms. with one session on the track with only one day-off per week. Until 2013, this is a typical training week during the summer when his training used to move towards the winter season to get prepared for biathlon and cross-country skiing International Paralympic competitions. Today, Yannick is a fulltime Paratriathlete, who keeps practicing Nordic skiing during the winter for fitness purposes.
Yannick currently is a fundraiser for the Fondation Banque Populaire in France. For more information, please visit the following link: www.fondation-bpsud.fr/
Yannick in his own words
How does it feel to be an inspiration to others? Did you ever expect to become an inspiration?
I never expected to become an inspiration, but today I feel very happy that my story can inspire people around the world, and help them to improve when doing some sports.
Why are Triathlons so inspiring? What makes this sport so special around the world?
Because triathlons are never the same! And triathlons are always offering new challenges as well.
When did you start participating in triathlons? Where was your first competition?
I started in 1989 when I still was a teenager studying middle school.
What motivates you in life?
Improving my habilities to train and compete in triathlons, and taking care of my lovely daughter!
What would you say to other people with similar ambitions?
Go training and you will reach your goals! Impossible is nothing!
Who inspires you? Why?
Me. I follow my own way, I don’t get distracted with other things.
How did you deal with obstacles in your life?
I jump over them!
What do you like most about Triathlons?
Triathlons are never the same, they are all different.
Mention major accomplishments in your life other than triathlons
My daughter and my two participations during the Winter Paralympic Games.
Do you support or represent any Non-Profit Organizations?
Yes. Fondation Banque Populaire in France. Please support us at www.fondation-bpsud.fr/