It was already in September. But for Fabien Canu, it feels as if it were yesterday. 43 years ago, the native of Saint-Valery-en-Caux (Seine-Maritime) entered INSEP. Then a great hope of French judo at only 18 years old, he discovered there what was the very high level while preparing his professional reconversion. Holder of the assistant professorate of physical education (PE) certificate, he launched on the INSEP’s tatamis a long career marked by multiple successes, in particular by two titles of world champion in - 86 kg (1987, 1989) and three continental crowns (1987, 1988, 1989).
As he takes up his duties as the new Director General of the Institute, he still remembers this time, not without a certain emotional touch:
« I have never forgotten the hours and hours of training, of sweat, either in the dojo, in the gym or in the Maigrot hall, but also all those moments of exchange and sharing during the 14 years I spent at INSEP. They helped me to build myself as an athlete but also as a man ».
Fabien Canu (61) will succeed Ghani Yalouz at the head of INSEP on Thursday 16 September. The former judoka has remained very close to the Institute since his retirement from the tatami. Whether as the Head of the high level at the French Judo Federation (1992 -1997), the national technique director of French Judo (1997-2005), the Director of Olympic and Paralympic Preparation (POP) (2006-2009), or the special advisor to David Douillet at the Ministry of Sports (2011-2012) and Inspector General of Youth and Sports. His in-depth knowledge of the institution and his experience of the very high level will be an asset in ensuring that INSEP and all of its players are part of a dynamic of excellence three years before the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
« This is my ambition and what will guide my action," he confirms. With its expertise, efficient services and multiple skills, INSEP must be a center of reference and a major actor, in conjunction with the National Sports Agency, to contribute to the success of the French Olympic and Paralympic teams in 2024. These Olympic Games, at home, are a unique event and should be a tremendous opportunity for INSEP and all its staff to develop their skills. Excellence is a mindset and everyone must feel involved and be focused on this objective every day. » « Expectations are high, especially in the current context, but I am happy to be part of this adventure at the head of the flagship institution of French sport and proud of the trust placed in me », concludes Fabien Canu.