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Olympic Games: the Monegasques have found their feet in Yanqing

02/02/2022 : Two days away from the opening ceremony, the Principality’s athletes were keen to share their impressions of the first few hours in the Olympic Village.




The Winter Olympic Games officially begin on Friday evening with the opening ceremony. The Monegasque athletes have quickly found their bearings in China. They have all now got used to the special conditions of these Games due to the Covid pandemic which are not disrupting their daily activities. Focused on their athletic goals, they spoke to us about their first impressions.


Rudy RINALDI bobsleigh COM

Rudy Rinaldi (bobsleigh, driver):<

 “Truly ideal conditions”

“The facilities are very good; the Yanqing Olympic Village is superb. Everything has been well thought out and designed. I find it more attractive compared to the PyeongChang Games (2018). I am not suffering from jet lag, and I don’t feel tired. We have already had the opportunity to walk along the run and to carry out a reconnaissance, although I have been familiar with it since October. We have begun the first runs. The competition will begin later (14th February) with a few days off in between. The wait isn’t detrimental. On the contrary it will give us the opportunity to adapt better in terms of the time difference, the cold, the altitude and also to work ideally with Laurent Willems, the osteopath, so that we can have the treatment necessary to be in top shape on the actual day.” 




Boris VAIN bobsleigh COM

Boris Vain (bobsleigh, pusher)

 “We feel at home”

“The trip went well; the wait wasn’t too long upon our arrival at the airport. Perhaps we will feel the logical repercussions of the time difference in a few days’ time, but we are used to that. The village is really beautiful. Damien Desprat, Chef de Mission, did a great job and when we arrived, we immediately felt at home. It is very important as an athlete to have such great conditions. We were expecting things to be complicated due to Covid, but that’s not really the case. Personally, I prefer Beijing to PyeongChang. Here, our accommodation is in the middle of nature. When we eat at the village restaurant, the bobsleigh run is just in front of us. The preliminary preparations have been ideal. Physically, I feel extremely good and in top form.”



Arnaud ALESSANDRIA ski alpin COM

Arnaud Alessandria (downhill skiing):<

 “A top-notch ski resort”

“Everything is going really well. It’s perhaps a paradox to say, due to the health situation, but I find the Olympic Village more convenient than Sochi (2014). The buildings are also more welcoming.  As far as my discipline is concerned, it’s extremely practical. The cable cars are a 3-minute walk away, the ski rooms are just below the cable cars.  From an organisational point of view, no unnecessary time or energy is lost in logistics, which is very much appreciated.  The ski resort was specifically created for the Games and the Chinese have done an awesome job, it’s quite outstanding: excellent ski lifts, hospitality teams everywhere. It’s a really excellent job. I have already completed two days of training; I’ve got a good feeling.”



Anthony RINALDI bobsleigh COM

Anthony Rinaldi (bobsleigh, substitute):<

 “The Olympic atmosphere is magic”

“The atmosphere within the village is unique. The Olympic atmosphere really has something magical about it. I did my first downhill practice runs yesterday. It is highly rewarding and a fantastic opportunity. I’ve got three days of training next week. I am delighted to be taking part. We’ll see what the coach decides in order to relieve Boris so that he can perform under the best possible conditions, as there are four rounds ahead over a two-day period (14th and 15th February). After the opening ceremony and as the competition approaches, things will build up to a crescendo. Having to wear a mask due to Covid, we don’t really pay much attention anymore, it’s part of our everyday life, it’s been two years now.”


Stéphan Maggi,

Press Officer for the Monegasque Olympic Committee


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