A student at the Olympics

Manon Guiomar, a student in master 1 sports management at UFR STAPS is about to achieve one of her greatest dreams: to participate in organising one of the most fabled sports events, the Olympic Games that will be hosted by France in 2024.

At the outset, no one could foresee that Manon Guiomar would find her vocation in managing sporting events. After passing her scientific baccalaureate with excellent results, the young Parisian enrolled to read economics at the University Panthéon Sorbonne.

The wake-up call came during the second year of her degree: “A friend suggested I be a welcome host at Roland Garros. I loved the experience. I liked everything, the atmosphere, the excitement, the all-round joy, the sporting but friendly ambiance, the adrenalin and the joyfulness of all the participants, whether players or spectators. I had found my path: organising sporting events.”

Once she had her Bachelor’s diploma, Manon applied for various specialisttraining courses in the marketing of sports and sporting events. She finally settled on the Master 1 Sports Management at UFR STAPS at Paris-Sud in September 2018. Ranked among the best training courses in France in its field, this Master’s is among the oldest and most renowned in the professional world.

Throughout the university year, Manon could count on the teaching team of the Master’s for support in building a solid professional programme, and especially on Nicolas Chanavat, head of M 1 Sports Management. As the young woman confirms: “Nicolas gave me invaluable advice and encouragement. I was able to have regular meetings with him in which he helped me identify opportunities that I could take advantage of. He was a huge support and pushed me take my chances and believe in my dreams.”

And Manon has a clear vision: to be part of the Olympic Games in 2024! Nicolas Chanavat is well placed to advise her as he is also Vice-President of the French National Olympic Academy, head of the French Centre for Olympic Studies and a member of COPIL for the Olympic and Paralympic games and Education of the Rectorate at the Academy of Versailles. He thus encouraged Manon not to limit herself and to apply to the organising committee of the Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris 2024 (Cojo) for the mandatory internship of her Master’s.

With an excellent CV and dossier, Manon’s application was easily accepted and the young woman has been living her dream ever since she started her six-month internship as a managerial assistant in Cojo: “We bring our support to bear in the form of advice and logistical assistance for all events organised for the Olympic Games 2024 throughout France and even Europe and beyond. It is intense, varied and truly passionate work.”

And for the cherry on the cake, Manon had the fantastic opportunity of being selected to represent the French National Olympic Academy and University Paris-Sud at the session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy at Olympia, from the 1st to the 15th June. Over two weeks, and with two other French representatives, she was able to interact with over 200 youths between 20 and 35 years old, from all over the world. On the programme for this session: conferences, group work on the Olympic Movement and cultural visits, as well as shared experiences and unforgettable moments such as sporting tournaments, artistic and literary workshops and other social events.

This great adventure may be over but for Manon the future is just beginning. At the end of her internship, she will submit her M1 report and can count on carrying on with the M2, still in sports management; while also keeping her sights on the end goal of joining the Cojo teams to participate in the fabulous adventure of Paris 2024!

Manon Guiomar tells us the story of her stay in Olympia
“I arrived in Athens the evening of Saturday 1st June, and from that moment onwards, I was meeting people of different nationalities. The first two days, we were all keen to meet each other, to learn and find out which countries would be present at the Session, and so we were constantly meeting up. On Sunday, we visited the ancient sites of Athens and in the evening, the International Olympic Academy booked a lovely opening ceremony for us with a pretty view over the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Mr Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, honoured us by opening this 59th Session of Young Participants, as well as the president of the International Olympic Academy and the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee. We arrived at Olympia Monday evening, after having climbed up to Delphi. The first day at Olympia was a day of discovery. We were getting our bearings, exploring the area and friendships started to form. The following days consisted of a series of lectures and appearances by professionals in sports diplomacy, workshops on Olympic Diplomacy and Peace, and cultural and sporting activities.

All these activities made us well aware that sport can bring people together from all horizons, cultures and generations. The subject of the week on Olympic Diplomacy and Peace is one that is at the heart of the daily lives of certain nationalities, and it was a pleasure for me to discuss this with others, to better understand their lives and have their points of view on the issue. Even though for some countries this subject is difficult to broach, we all agreed that here, at Olympia, differences are mostly set aside and “learning to live together” is our motto.

 

Aware of its social responsibilities, University Paris-Sud wished to become a part of the grand global sporting event: the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2024.

As such, after submitting its dossier presenting its commitment to training and research in the field of sport and related elements (law, economics, management, health, ageing, etc.), the University received the “Generation 2024” label.

Created after the IOC selected Paris as the host city for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2024, the Generation 2024 measure aimed to raise the awareness of students and future students of Olympic and Paralympic culture.

To coordinate the implementation of this ambitious programme, Nicolas Chanavat, lecturer-researcher at UFR STAPS, was named mission head by the Vice-President Hervé Dole in charge of Culture, Arts, Sciences and Society at the University. The mission head coordinates actions linked to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and promotes synergies between initiatives/projects that can enhance the Games. A steering committee has been set up with representatives from the components, from the physical and sporting activities department of the University (SUAPS) and various specialists in the field from UFR STAPS.