International Ice Hockey Federation

French stars support hockey

French stars support hockey

Champions from other sports cheered for “les Bleus”

Published 18.05.2017 12:29 GMT+2 | Author Ismael Diakite
French stars support hockey
Two-time Olympic medalist Alain Bernard had tried ice hockey before the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in December. Photo: FFHG
Before and during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, French champions from other sports supported “les Bleus”.

The French team finished ninth at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, one of the best results in its history. From the beginning of their preparation, “les Bleus” have received the support of many professional athletes.

In March and April, the French Ice Hockey Federation set up an itinerant sports village in Paris to encourage sport and to introduce hockey. Several athletes from France had visited and had shown their support for the French team. "It's always a pleasure to see a French team compete in a World Championship at home," said Souleymane Cissokho, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games. "It's great for French sport to get together!"

Lucas Moura, Brazilian football player and 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship ambassador, attended the Finland-France match and was particularly impressed by the AccorHotels Arena audience: "It's fantastic! The audience sings and jumps all the time, the atmosphere is beautiful!” Judoka Gevrise Emane, a three-time world champion and Olympic medalist, also enjoyed the show: "It reminds me of judo, there is commitment and generosity! The atmosphere in the ice rink is pleasant with the public and music."

Swimmer Alain Bernard had tried ice hockey a few weeks ago: "You have to be very fast and very agile," said the double Olympic champion. "In any case, we will have to go and encourage the French team in Paris!”

Before the beginning of the competition, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Antoine Roussel, Yohann Auvitu and Damien Fleury had even challenged former French champions Fabien Galthie and Damien Traille (rugby), Mickael Llodra (tennis), Bertrand and Guillaume Gille (handball). Everyone had responded, trying to do speed races, shots, checks and face-offs. "We sweat a lot! We liked trying hockey but we had trouble skating," said Guillaume Gille, double Olympic champion and double world handball champion.

It is a great joy to see the French sport family gathered around Ice Hockey. This 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will probably allow French hockey to win new supporters.


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