Destination Sochi : Kevin Rolland prepares for the Olympics
The initial plan was to pick up Kevin Rolland, who’d recently returned from winning the Dew Tour in the US, from the Canal Plus offices in Boulogne Billancourt and take him to the centre of Paris, where he had a Valentines Day date with his gorgeous girlfriend. His table was booked for 8pm which left me more than enough time to drive him to his romantic RDV whilst interviewing him in the car.
As a huge fan of the French rapper and as a surprise for Kevin, I’d planned a quick detour to show him Booba’s kebab shop, just up the road from Canal Plus. However, my inaptitude to drive, yet alone a 1977 Mercedes in 7pm traffic in Paris, meant my ‘detour’ quickly became an unintentional round-trip of the Parisian périphérique and surrounding suburban towns.
My inadequacy at the wheel became more and more apparent as the old motor perpetually stalled and to hide my embarrassment, I awkwardly fidgeted with the cassette radio, trying desperately to create diversion by playing some French rap. All the while, my face turned red, my hands sweated and the over heating engine was emitting what felt like radiation on my feet. Sylvia, who was literally squashed in the back, had one had filming with her camera and the other on Google Maps, trying to figure out where the fuck we were.
Two hours later, and upon arrival at our destination the (still) smiling Kevin got out of the car, politely thanking Sylvia and I for the interview and went on his way.
This just proved to me that Kevin is possibly not only one of the nicest riders I’ve ever had the chance to meet, but the calmest most patient
Last night was the first sign the Olympics were well on their way as I attended the premier of the documentary Destination Sochi that follows Kevin’s preparation for erm, Sochi. Filmed by Mathias Lopez and produced by Canal Plus, the doc’ traces his progression in the discipline, from early footage of him skiing at two years old, right through to his victories at the X-Games and the Dew Tour and then on to the intense training programme he is currently following.
The 52 minute documentary includes interviews from the Olympian Carl Lewis, the NBA player, Boris Diaw, even his rivals Simon Dumont and David Wise, but more importantly his coach, Greg Guenet and his Freeski Project team mates.
Destination Sochi provides a captivating insight into a riders preparation for such a huge event, with a bit of American style documentation (which is always good to see). I genuinely hope he wins, not because he didn’t go mental when I dropped him off two hours late for his romantic dinner, but because he’s a real sportsman and a bloody nice guy.