INTERVIEW WITH YOHAN FORT (Fra)
Yohan Fort has spent the three quarters of his life living for his passion: Skating. He’s experienced it in as many ways as possible, having a go at various specialties all through the years. However, one in particular caught his attention: Speed Slalom. Today, at age 20, Yohan is reigning over speed slalom. He is the current number one, as well as the current European AND World Champion. He’s secured his place for a while and is currently untouchable. And last but not least, his little brother Jimmy seems to have inherited of the same gift and may be sitting on top of the world with him someday soon. Let’s go back on his skating history…
¤ Name: Yohan Fort
¤ Birth date: 12/18/1991
¤ Nationality: French
¤ Job: Works on skates in a supermarket
¤ How do you describe speed slalom to someone who’s never heard of it?
It’s a really fun sport, with lots of fights, the aim of which is going as fast as possible without hitting cones.
¤ For how long have you been skating?
I’ve been skating for 16 years at the Roller Bug club.
¤ How did you discover roller-skating? And slalom skating?
I simply started skating after having watched a skating demo on the car park of a supermarket. As for slalom skating, I discovered it thanks to my former coach Guyom Haensler: he thought I was gifted and advised me to have a go at slalom skating, and I loved it right away!
¤ You’re a jack of all trades when it comes to skating, which disciplines do you practice?
A lot! I do speed slalom, freestyle jump, skate cross, high jump, downhill, speed skating and hockey…
¤ You used to take part in all the disciplines of Freestyle in competition (freestyle and speed slalom, jump, aggressive skating)… When and why did you decide to specialize in speed slalom?
The mentality in aggressive skating was very different and I didn’t like it, or at least it was not what I was looking for. I stopped freestyle for personal reasons, because I was training a lot for not enough results, and I specialized in speed slalom because I loved that, I love the feeling you get and confronting with your opponent.
You are the WSSA World Champion for the second year in-a-row (as well as the current European Champion) and skaters who resist you are rare: the Inline games in July, the European Championships in SkateLondon in August, the World Championships in Geisingen in October… only wins.
Yohan Fort at Geisingen World Championships – Speed final: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWWShAOQnCQ
¤ However you don’t take part in a lot of competitions on the WSS compared to your opponents. Why?
Just because I travel either with my club or with the French Team. They are the ones who decide where to go. And most of the time I choose the competitions with the most cones.
¤ Is there an opponent who scares you?
I’m not afraid of anybody… you just have to be careful with everybody because at the world level we all have more or less the same level.
¤ The only one who has won over you this season is Italian Savio Brivio during the PSWC in Paris. How would you analyze this final?
That’s life. A defeat often sets me straight. And nobody can be at their tops all the time. I lost like a big boy, he was better than me that day.
¤ What does a typical training session looks like with you?
I train 3 hours per week together with my Roller Bug team.
¤ Specializing is the key to success?
I don’t think so, I think that being into several things can help.
Your brother Jimmy seems ready to reign by your side: European Vice-Champion in August – the two brothers facing each other during the final at SkateLondon, winner at Battle Belgium in September, Junior World Champion in October…
¤ Do you have a secret or is it in your genes?
Jimmy’s level skyrocketed in 2011. He’s grown up, won muscle and I’m proud to see that it’s my little brother who’s hot on my heels in speed slalom. We train together and I’m his model. He often says that he’s going to beat the sh.. out of me (kidding). I’m his motivation and I’m proud that he sees his big brother like a great sportsman. Jimmy is going to be the next prime target, you’ll see. But above all, he is my blood, my brother, and I love him more than anything in the world. Lots of people ask me what the tattoo in the back on my arm stands for: it’s number 22, his birth date.
¤ What are your aims for this season?
You can’t say in advance if you’re going to win everything, but I’ll do my best!
¤ What do you do in life when you’re not skating?
I go out, hang out with my friends, go cycling, jogging… and I spend time with my family too, it’s important.
¤ Special thanks?
I thank my parents who have always supported me since I started this sport and who’ve gone without a lot to take me all around France. I also thank Guyom Haensler and Benjamin Gellie without whom I wouldn’t be here today, as well as my new sponsor Seba with whom we found an agreement, Jimmy and me. Thank you, Chloe, for this interview, and a big thank you to the skaters from all around the world for these unforgettable moments. See you soon on wheels!