La Tête et les Jambes Talks
’La Tête et les Jambes’ Talks start from the reflections that Henri Desgrange, media magnate and founder of the Tour de France, developed in his training handbook La Tête et les Jambes (Head and Legs, 1894): the essential necessity of mental strength and strategy as well as a good physical condition to be an authentic ‘champion’.
What does a man need to be a ‘champion’ nowadays? ‘La tête et les jambes’ obviously, but what else? Charisma? Money? Political statements? Doping or even mechanical assistance?
On Thierry Dusautoir
Join Arnaud David in conversation with Allan Massie for the second talk of the series and explore with them some of these fascinating questions through the figure of French rugby team captain Thierry Dusautoir.
on the eve of the France v Scotland 6 Nations rugby match on Sunday 26 February.
’The chaotic route of the French team was painful for both of us. We are both committed men, with many convictions. And we both hate failure. The way Thierry replied to criticisms is magnificent. He managed to mobilize his men and they played a beautiful world cup. I am very proud I chose him as captain.’ This comment by Marc Liévremont, coach of the French rugby team in Le Parisien is a good explanation of my choice of Thierry Dusautoir to illustrate this talk on the figure of the champion explains Arnaud David.
If I chose to talk about Thierry Dusautoir, it’s not because he was named World’s best player in 2011 but because nothing really predisposed him to become this exceptional champion. He didn’t invent himself as a champion; rather he found the way to push his limits every time further. He built himself up slowly but confidently, in this difficult and continuous challenge that imposes to put oneself in danger.
Arnaud David is a French journalist. After being the appointed rugby reporter for L’Equipe he joined the sports section of the daily newspaper Sud Ouest.
Interview with Thierry Dusautoir after Stade toulousain won the French Rugby Championship 2008.
(02min41s). Video dated 29 June 2008.
Talk in English
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Photo : Thierry Dusautoir © schindlerugby