Handball Culture : Tony Estanguet


2 January 2017


Each week we talk to a sports personality or other celebrity about their relationship with handball and to discuss the 2017 Handball World Championships. Today, Tony Estanguet, three-time Olympic champion in slalom canoeing and co-President of the Paris 2024 Bidding Committee.

Tony, have you ever played handball ?

Yes, like many, I played handball at school. I enjoyed it a lot because it’s a very playful sport, I have fond memories of it.

Three words to describe handball ?

Speed, because it never stops from offense to defense. Precision, because I’m regularly impressed to see how some players are able to shoot into the top corner from a 9-meter range. And physical effort.

What is your best memory as a French handball team fan ?

Winning the Olympic Games in London. I remember very well that all the French Olympic team was supporting them, it was the last day of the Olympics, and it was a great moment, with this “Experts” generation that has made us dream for years. It really was a valuable moment.

According to you, who is the most phenomenal player ?

Even though this French team is really united and playing together, I’m going to say Nikola Karabatic, because he brought so much, everywhere he played, but also because he is a great guy.

Do you have a message for the “Experts” before this home World Championship ?

We cannot let the Danish team settle in, no way ! So come on guys, take back this property that is rightfully yours !

This World Championship is also very special for you, as the co-President of the Paris 2024 Bidding Committee, eight month before the IOC’s decision over the hosting of the 2024 Olympics…

First of all, this is a major and highly awaited event, because our men’s handball team is one of the greatest French sport teams ever. They came back from Rio with the silver medal, so I have no doubt about the French team ability to aim really high and to do well at this World Championship. Secondly, regarding Paris 2024, we have this incredible opportunity to show again our deep commitment to the Olympic sports and to the big events. Here too, I have no doubt about the quality of the hosting, it will be a great event and an opportunity for Paris 2024 to keep on scoring points.