Nicolas Bernardi

Nicolas Bernardi

Life sciences student and high-level archer

Beyond the competition, my main objective is to fully enjoy this event that only happens once in a lifetime.

Nicolas Bernardi, life sciences student and high-level archer, tells us about the beginnings of his passion, his commitment to sport and his ambitions to reach his target: the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

How did your passion for archery begin?

Nicolas Bernardi: My passion for archery began at the age of seven, during a village festival. I spent a whole afternoon at the archery range. This is where I first felt a fascination for this sport. After that day, I looked for a club during the holidays and continued to practice it afterwards.

You are currently pursuing a degree in life sciences at Sorbonne University. Why did you choose this specialty?

N.  B.: I have always been interested in biodiversity and life sciences offer me the opportunity to explore this area. Being in the first year of my degree, my professional project is still in the making and I am giving myself time to think about what my future aspirations are.

How do you combine your studies and high-level sport?

N.  B.: This year is special because I am mainly focusing on my preparation for the Olympic Games. Currently, I take very few classes and devote myself to training almost eight times a day, every day. In the evening, I work on some online courses or I recover my strength, depending on my needs.

Comment Sorbonne Université vous accompagne dans ce projet ?

N.  B. : Sorbonne Université a un partenariat avec l'INSEP, ce qui me permet de me préparer pour les Jeux Olympiques tout en poursuivant mes études. Le dispositif Sportif de Haut Niveau et le programme de bourses Passeport pour les JO de la Fondation avec le soutien du Crédit Agricole d’Ile-de-France Mécénat sont également très importants.

How does Sorbonne University support you in this project?

N.  B.: Sorbonne University has a partnership with INSEP, which allows me to prepare for the Olympic Games while continuing my studies. The High-Level Sports system and the Passport for the Olympics scholarship program of the Foundation with the support of Crédit Agricole d 'Ile-de-France Sponsorship are also very important.

What do the Paris Olympic Games mean to you?

N. B.: It’s hard to imagine what it really represents until you’re there. But the Paris Olympic Games are a dream for every athlete. It’s a huge event and the fact that they’re taking place at home is an extraordinary opportunity. For archery, it is also an opportunity to raise awareness of our sport which receives little media coverage.

What are your goals for the Games and how are you preparing for them?

N.  B.: My first goal is to qualify for the Olympic Games. Then, my ultimate wish is to win a medal. But beyond the competition, my main objective is to fully enjoy this event which only happens once in a lifetime.

To successfully complete this challenge, we focused on specific archery preparation and we are now starting a more mental session with one of the best coaches in the world, who is Korean. We try to benefit from his teachings, even if his advice is not always easy to apply.

Do you have a lucky item that you bring to your competitions or a ritual before each competition?

N.  B.: I don’t have a favorite object or any particular ritual. I just make sure I get good sleep and a healthy diet before every competition, and I always check my equipment to be ready.

What is your most memorable memory during a competition?

N.  B.: It was when I competed against the best archers. I had the opportunity to shoot against a multiple world champion and the current world number; and what impressed me the most was their calm. Even when I was leading them, they remained focused and unfazed. This was an invaluable lesson for me.

Notable track record

  • Team gold medalist at the Mediterranean Games, in Oran (Algeria) in 2022
  • Team gold medalist and individual silver medalist at the “European youth cup circuit” in 2022