Pascal Gentil, a French athlete born in 1973, is Olympic bronze medallist at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics in taekwondo and a three-time winner of the European Championships. The athlete visited the Peace and Sport forum as Champion for Peace. The curious fact is that Pascal, apart from the incredible successes in sports, successfully performed himself as an actor, starring in the films «Samuraïs» 2001, «Y-2 The Game&» 2001 and «Rire et Châtiment» 2002. Within the framework of the forum, the athlete shared his charitable missions with HelloMonaco, in the role of Champion for Peace.
HelloMonaco: Could you tell us in which particular Peace and Sport programs you took part already as a Champion for Peace?
Pascal Gentil: I’ve been involved in many programs of Peace and Sport. The last one was in Burundi for the Friendship Games. Our purpose was to gather people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, people from Burundi and Rwanda, where there are some political tensions. We tried to give kids the opportunity to share their experience, to play games, through sports. It was fantastic to see how sports can bring kids together. In addition, a month ago we did caravan for peace, where Champions for Peace were bringing culture and sports to different cities of Senegal.
HM: What kind of sports activities were you doing with kids?
PG: We played rugby together, taekwondo, karate, running, played basketball together. I really had fun going to Africa where the kids are so happy to see you.
HM: How did the kids react to you?
PG: First of all I seemed very tall to them, as I am almost 2 meters. They were so impressed at how such a huge person like me can also be so flexible – for example, when I was doing the splits in front of them. I’m one of the Ambassadors for Paris 2024. I said to the kids: look at you guys, you are the generation of Olympic Games 2024. If you focus on sports, if you devote your time to training you can attend the games! And they were so surprised that everything is possible!