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Alain Bernard

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Alain Bernard
Alain Bernard
Country France
Sport Swimming
Best Events freestyle
Olympics Attended 2008; 2012
Olympic Medals Won
Gold medal icon Gold Silver medal icon Silver Bronze medal icon Bronze
2 1 1
Personal Information
Birthdate 12 November 1975
Birthplace Aubagne, France
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight 200 lb (90 kg)
Hometown Satory, France

Alain Bernard(born 1 May 1983) is a former French swimmer from Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône. Bernard won three medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics. After competing on the silver medal-winning French 4×100 m relay team (Video of the Race can be found here),[1] Bernard won the gold medal in the men's 100 m freestyle event.

He held the same 100 m freestyle world record after winning the European LC Championships 2008 final in a time of 47.50 seconds on 22 March 2008. He had already beaten the world record the previous day, finishing in 47.60 seconds in the semi-finals. On 23 March Bernard lowered the 50 m freestyle world record to a time of 21.50 but only held the record for four days before being bettered by Australian Eamon Sullivan.[2]

2008 OlympicsEdit

At the French Championships, Bernard qualified for the Olympic Games in Beijing in the 50 m freestyle (with a time of 21.69 s) and 100 m freestyle (47.82 s).

Before the relay, Bernard taunted the American swim team. He and the rest of his French team ended up in second place behind the American team by .08 seconds. Bernard, who was given a lead going into the anchor leg of slightly less than a bodylength, was caught in the final strokes by Jason Lezak, whose anchor leg of 46.06 seconds was the fastest relay leg in history.

The close defeat left Bernard "wounded," according to his coach.[3] However, he rebounded to win the gold medal in the men's 100 metre freestyle final, in which Lezak tied for the bronze. Bernard became only the second Frenchman to win a gold medal in swimming, after Jean Boiteux, who won the 400 m freestyle at the 1952 Helsinki Games. He also finished third in the 50 m freestyle final behind César Cielo Filho of Brazil and Amaury Leveaux of France, making it the first time in Olympic history that France had produced two medalists in a swimming final.

He has a shark tattoo on his right hip.

2012 OlympicsEdit

Bernard failed to qualify for the 50 m freestyle and 100 m freestyle events of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London by finishing only fifth in both events during the French swimming championships in March 2012.[4][5] He was in the France 4 x 100 m freestyle relay at the Olympics in the heats, but was not included in the team for the final. France won the event which made Bernard a two-time Olympic gold medalist.[6]

Personal bestsEdit

Personal bests
Event Long course Short course
50 m freestyle 21.23 20.64
100 m freestyle 46.94 45.69
200 m freestyle 1:47.81 1:46.43

The 100m long course time (46.94) was not admissible as a world record because it was swum in a non-approved swimsuit.[7]

Service in the French GendarmerieEdit

Alain Bernard has been a volunteer in the Gendarmerie since 2008 and was until recently attached to the Groupement blindé de gendarmerie mobile based in Versailles-Satory in the Yvelines department.

References Edit

  1. Rights belong to NBC
  2. Sullivan smashes 50 m world record. ABC (27 March 2008). Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved on 27 March 2008.
  3. Lezak Overhauls French to Win
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
  6. French Get Revenge at 2008 Relay
  7. PR49 – FINA APPROVAL OF WORLD RECORDS. Retrieved on 9 August 2012.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
AUS Eamon Sullivan
Men's 50 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

23 March 2008 – 27 March 2008
Succeeded by
AUS Eamon Sullivan
Preceded by

NED Pieter van den Hoogenband
AUS Eamon Sullivan
AUS Eamon Sullivan
Men's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

21 March 2008 – 11 August 2008
13 August 2008
23 April 2009 – 22 June 2009 (record annulled)
Succeeded by

AUS Eamon Sullivan
AUS Eamon Sullivan
AUS Eamon Sullivan
Preceded by
SWE Stefan Nystrand
Men's 100 metres freestyle
world record holder (short course)

7 December 2008 – 12 December 2008
Succeeded by
FRA Amaury Leveaux
Preceded by
POL Mateusz Sawrymowicz
European Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
GER Paul Biedermann
Preceded by
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
French Sportperson of the Year
Succeeded by
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena

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