President Emmanuel Macron received this Tuesday the French delegation of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. The Head of State decorated the gold medalists with the Legion of Honor, and the silver and bronze medalists with the National Order of Merit.
Emmanuel Macron received on Tuesday at the Elysée the French Olympic and Paralympic athletes from the Beijing Winter Games, a month after their closing. As has been the tradition since 1988, gold medalists are decorated with the Legion of Honor. The silver and bronze medalists receive the insignia of the National Order of Merit. And all the athletes were very moved. Europe 1 looks back on this day of decorations.
“It’s still a strong moment”
The athletes cross the gravel court one by one. Some put on a suit, others kept their blue white red tracksuits. Chloé Trespeuch looks around, both proud and intimidated. She won silver in snowboard cross: “It’s my third time, but you never get used to it,” she says. “It makes the medal a bit more concrete, it’s still a strong moment.”
A strong and symbolic moment for biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet. He received the Legion of Honor on Tuesday, after winning five medals during the Games. “Me, I do my sport above all to make the colors of France shine. We are not necessarily heroes, but here we are, we have this distinction there and I am very proud of it”, he tells Europe 1.
The stars in the eyes for Arthur Bauchet
Under the chandeliers and gilding of the village hall, the president recites the names of the 23 medalists, before hanging a ribbon on their chest. Paralympic skier Arthur Bauchet is the first to be decorated. “I let myself be carried away, it’s true that these are magical moments,” he says. “In addition we are together, the Olympics and the Paralympics, to show that we are one and the same team from France.” Like many, he has only one thing in mind: to return to the gardens of the Élysée, after the next Winter Games, in Milan in 2026.