Giroud's second passion

With the 2018 Winter Olympics currently taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Olivier Giroud has been taking a keen interest in proceedings, and one sport in particular.

Having grown up in the south-eastern area of France, close to the Alps, the Chelsea striker has always been a big skiing fan. Prior to his football career taking off, Giroud enjoyed participating on the slopes and competed to a decent standard.

So, how did his interest in the sport develop?

‘I grew up between Chambery and Grenoble in France, an area at the bottom of the mountains,’ Giroud explains. ‘I was living in a town which was around 30 minutes from the skiing station, so that’s why I grew up on skiing and it’s my second passion after football.

‘I miss it a lot. The first thing I want to do when I retire is to go skiing. I can’t take the risk at the moment and it’s included in my contract. If I was to get injured it would be my own responsibility, but I really miss it.

‘I entered competitions up until the age of 14 which helped in terms of my football because I was already a competitor in my head. I was okay, I did it to a good level but obviously football was my main priority.’

Since this year’s competition began just over a week ago, Giroud has been enjoying watching the action unfold.

His home nation, despite not being right at the top of the medal table at this point, have generally been performing well and Giroud was pleased to see them sample success in some of the various skiing events.

‘I’ve seen that Martin Fourcade (pictured above) won the gold medal in the 12.5k Pursuit and I know a couple of others, Alexis Pinturault and Victor Muffat-Jeandet, finished second and third in the Alpine Combined.

‘I’m keeping an eye on the French athletes. At Cobham we have the opportunity to watch it on the big television screen so that’s good.’

Giroud’s interest is far from limited to just the skiing, however, and he tells us about some of the other events he has been keeping tabs on.

‘I enjoy the halfpipe, I used to do it a little bit when I was younger and I loved the jumps,’ he says. 

‘I’ve done some snowboarding as well. I think some of the things they can do are really impressive and it’s really enjoyable to watch.’