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How do sports influence work life? Discover Stéphane’s story, French long jump champion

Published on April 22, 2024

3 minutes

For Air Liquide, 2024 is a year of sport. A unique opportunity to get to know our employees' sports enthusiasts and to highlight the benefits of physical activities in the workplace. In Singapore, we met Elys Lai, Sales Support Executive and diver. Today let's introduce Stéphane Pusiol, seven-time French long jump champion in the masters category (over 35). He works as a Primary Production Manager for Air Liquide in Paris, and tells us more about his love of sport, the pursuit of high-level performance and the importance of teamwork.

Twelve years ago, at the age of 38, Stéphane stepped inside the athletics club in Savigny-sur-Orge near Paris, where he lives, having decided to go back to the sport he’d given up when he first started working. Impressed by its atmosphere and diverse members, he joined the club and decided to specialize in sprinting (100 and 200 meters) and long jump.

The club organizes group training sessions, with about 15 male and female athletes of all ages and from all walks of life. This diversity is what Stéphane likes best about his involvement in athletics and his job at Air Liquide, where he has spent most of his career. Although athletics is an individual sport, he really values its sense of teamwork and team spirit: “We all want to have a good time. People say that athletics is a thankless sport because it involves a lot of effort and very few rewards. Although it’s true that the sessions can be very tough, we train together, we work hard but we always have fun.”

Stéphane adds that sport provides an opportunity to interact with other people and break the ice. “I like finding out about my colleagues’ hobbies and interests, it’s a way to bond with each other and it helps us thrive at work,” he explains.

His training sessions are intense (lasting two hours, three times a week) and he frequently attends competitions. “I love taking part in championships because I can compare myself with other athletes, see how I’m doing and analyze my performance. It’s similar to the world of work: we respect our competitors, but winning and coming first because of our hard work is an incredible reward.”

His fondest memory of athletics? “The first time I became French long jump champion in the Masters category in 2019. Since then, I’ve been French champion seven times and I’ve come second three times.” And Stéphane doesn’t intend to stop there: “My next goals? I want to improve my sprint performance so I can get on the podium. And I’m going to try the triple jump!” These are attainable objectives for this athlete who often says that “nothing is impossible when you devote the necessary energy to it”.

It just goes to show that with a positive attitude, a powerful mindset and a close-knit team, anything is possible!

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