Antoine Brizard, the captain of Gas Sales Bluenergy Volley Piacenza closed his second season with the red and white shirt. He closed it like a true captain, on and off the field. The Olympic champion from Tokyo will also play in Piacenza for the next three seasons with the France shirt. Born in 1994, 29 today May 22, the captain is now back in France. The national team led by Andrea Giani awaits him, the appointments of the VNL and the European championship await him, his family and his lifelong friends await him. And before leaving Piacenza he talks about himself in the round in a long chat.
“In Piacenza I found my natural environment, a quiet city, a public close to the team, a great desire for volleyball. When I decided to come and play here I made the right choice, month after month I’m more and more convinced of it”.
What did Antoine Brizard like to do as a kid?
“Doing a lot of sport, my father played football and also did well, he also did athletics, I played tennis, football and volleyball. When I was six years old, a volleyball net was put up in the backyard and I played with my brother who is four years older than me. I never liked studying, I always got promoted at school but I didn’t like studying at home and I always had an excuse ready for my mother Francoise when I didn’t want to study.”
And if you hadn’t played volleyball what would you have done?
“In my family they are almost all doctors, from my uncle to my brother Benjanin, when my dad passed away I was ten years old, since then we have always thought about what he would have wanted for us. My brother used to play volleyball after a few years he stopped to better prepare for the year of the test to enter Medicine. I would have liked to do physiotherapy but it was more to reassure my mother. I too signed up to take the medical test which was then also used to enter physiotherapy, after six months I realized that I didn’t like it, I also went into depression, I spoke to my mother and made her understand that I wanted play volleyball and become a volleyball player”.
And what did your mother say?
“You understand, the following year I left Poitiers to move to Paris and there too I tried to enroll in physiotherapy again to make my mother happy but the field was my fixed thought, I trained a lot, there I understood that volleyball it was my job and like all jobs I had to learn how to do it well”.
Have you ever explained why your mother didn’t see you as a volleyball player?
“He was afraid because it was a world he didn’t know while he knew the world of medicine very well. I was already in the French youth national team, it was said that I was good, she calmed down even if she continues to fear above all for injuries and considers the world of volleyball a closed world “.
How important is family to you?
“I’m very close to my family because we have a somewhat complicated history behind us, now I’ve changed a little in character, I’ve matured, I have clearer ideas about life in general, this has led us to distance ourselves a bit but if there is a problem we are always ready to help each other”.
You have been married to Camille for just over two years, how did you meet?
“We have been married since April 30, 2021, we met in Paris about ten years ago in the first year I was there, a mutual friend introduced us one evening and the spark immediately struck. She didn’t know anything about volleyball but still doesn’t know much about volleyball, she thought I was in Paris to finish my Physiotherapy studies. For now we don’t think about having children and even if the desire arises we think we won’t have children for many reasons, one of all for how the world goes “.
In 2021 Olympic champion with France: how has your life changed?
“It’s changed a lot, we were already happy when we were in the final but now I realize that there’s a big difference between winning and finishing second, at least in France but I think also in Italy. Winning that gold medal shed so much light on our movement in France, I still remember the big party in Paris when we came back, it was us and the handball players who always win.”
Is there one thing you wouldn’t do again from what you’ve done so far?
“I am quite proud of what I do, I always want to do more and better but I am also a person who thinks that if one tiny thing changes, everything could change”.
“In the 2020-21 season I went to play in Russia in St. Petersburg, a one-year contract. Perugia at that time had offered me a three-year contract but I wanted to go and have an experience in Russia and I decided to go there despite everyone telling me I was crazy to refuse a three-year contract in Perugia. It wasn’t a question of money, I wanted to make history in St. Petersburg and not be after De Cecco in Perugia”.