Our colleague Philippe Lion, Process Engineer at GROUPE ADF, was given the opportunity of relaying the Olympic flame in Bergerac on May 22. His passion for triathlon and  commitment to community work led him to be selected to carry the Olympic torch . Read his interview below !

What does carrying the Olympic torch mean to you ?

Above all, it’s a dream come true. There aren’t many organizations that embody the values of humanism as well as the Olympic world . No matter where you are , on the track, in the pool, on the tatami, differences are broken down. No matter how rich or poor, black or white, atheist or believer you are , nothing matters anymore . Regardless whether you are a man or a woman, you are going to give the best of himself and come as you are , not against your opponent but thanks to your opponent. 

We are going to be 10,000 people all different, according to his or her abilities and the principle of receiving from the one before and passing on to the one after to achieve a common goal. Carrying the flame is undoubtedly a symbolic opportunity to share the positive values of sport with everyone especially my ADF colleagues.

How did you come to be the one to carry the torch ?

I’ve been doing triathlons for about twenty years. During a call for applications, a member of the association I was involved in applied on my behalf. I then got a call to explain what sport and Olympism meant to me.

I do believe that I made it through mostly thanks to my commitment than my sporting achievements. You could say that I am a worthy representative of well-being within Sport.

In your opinion, how sport can benefit the business world ?

Pushing oneself to the limits and solidarity are common values to both business and sport. So I am convinced that sport can be extremely beneficial to business world. It enables employees to be healthier, both physically and mentally. Sporting activities between colleagues establish a greater sense of belonging to the company, and a social bond between colleagues who do not necessarily interact at work.

What does sport bring to your personal and professional life ?

Sport is part of my personal and professional life. As a professional , it helps me to manage the stress linked to our activities as we often have to deal with incompatible requirements. For me, each training session is an opportunity to break away from work to come back as a stronger performer. I have never denied my need to practice sport from potential employers as I need to be a sportsman to be a good engineer. 

On a personal level, it is above all an opportunity to share special moments with my very understanding wife and daughters, and it is also a school of humility.

Is there any final idea you’d like to share with us ?

Here is my tip for all the employees: You don’t have to be a top athlete to get a lot out of sport. Everyone can benefit from practicing a sport activity at his or her own pace.