Q&A WITH… YANIS DAVID

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Country: France

Profession: Athlete – Triple jump / Long jump

Career highlights:

  • 2020 Olympian
  • 2019 World Champs team
  • 2018 Mediterranean Championships gold medallist – triple jump
  • 2017 European U23 Championships gold medallist – long jump
  • 2016 World U20 Championships gold medallist – long jump
  • 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist – triple jump

Transitioning from a junior athlete to a senior professional athlete can be difficult – what did you find most challenging?

What I found most challenging was believing that I belonged amongst the best long / triple jumpers in the world. Transitions are like steppingstones in your career, even going from being a high school athlete to a collegiate athlete, and we need to be mentally prepared for them otherwise it is challenging.

What is the most technical part of the triple jump?

I’d say it is the transition between each phase. We spend a lot of time working on our reaction on the ground because you have to take into consideration that every time, we hit the ground our body weight is multiplied x15 (or so). We have to be able to react on the ground, so we produce enough force to move through each phase efficiently so as not to lose speed or form.

One of your recent social media posts said, “This is my journey, and I will embrace my losses as much as my wins”. How do you manage to embrace the losses and keep moving forward?

It hasn’t always been easy to embrace my losses. Honestly, I still struggle doing it now. However, at the end of the day, there is always THE bigger picture/ goal that pushes me to keep moving forward with even more energy that I had before.

Could you tell us a bit about @paritynow and what challenges you have faced as a female athlete?

@paritynow is a platform that fights for pay equity for professional women athletes. It also gives the opportunity for professional women athletes to partner with brands/companies through social media marketing opportunities, who shares similar values as the athlete.

Personally, I have faced challenges because of how my body looks. I’ve been told that I was too muscular, or that I would look like a man if I keep lifting weights. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities working outside of being an athlete, but with @Paritynow I can tell that they’ve helped me become more confident being a woman in sport.

Can you give us two interesting facts about the culture of Guadeloupe?

The island looks like a butterfly from above! People also call the island “L’ile Papillon” which translates to the “Butterfly Island”. Another fact about the Guadeloupe culture is that multiple music genres were born there, such as Gwoka, that’s played with the “ka” which is a drum, and Caribbean zouk. There are also traditional genres such as Haitian kompa, reggae, or dancehall

What is the WORST advice you ever received?

The worst advice someone has given me in the past is “You should stick to what you know”. Being close minded has never been useful to me personally. In certain cases, it can be important to stand your ground on what you know, however, being open minded has taught me so much and led me to more places than I can count!

Where is your favourite place to rest and recuperate?

My ALL-TIME favourite place to rest and recuperate is at home, but most specifically my grandmother’s house. If I could go to her house every weekend, I would. Her house is in the countryside and it is so peaceful. Service doesn’t work that well there and she doesn’t have WIFI, so it allows me to unwind away from everything for a little bit and enjoy my time with my family.

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