— Published 6 November 2023

Roger Federer inspires Swiss athletes

With less than nine months to go until the Paris 2024 Games (D – 263), the Swiss National Olympic Committee (Swiss Olympic) brought together more than a hundred elite athletes for the second edition of its “Olympic Encounters”. For the occasion, the body invited two prestigious speakers, Roger Federer and Thomas Zurbuchen. The former world number 1 tennis player spent a whole day talking to the current generation of athletes about the decisive factors for a successful career. He also looked back on his own Olympic appearances, including his silver medal in the singles event at the London 2012 Games. “Even though I’ve slept outside during my last few participations, I’ve always spent one or two days in the village, he explained. Meeting athletes from very different countries and sports is unforgettable. So give yourself over to these encounters and enjoy them.” Thomas Zurbuchen, the former scientific director of NASA, spoke the day after Roger Federer’s visit. He spoke at length about “Perseverance”, a space mission scheduled for 2021, and its parallels with an Olympic event. “I’ve always visualised D-Day in advance and I’ve also thought about my reaction in the event of failure,” explained the scientist. I was then able to concentrate on success.” Ralph Stöckli, Swiss Olympic’s Head of Mission for the Paris 2024 Games, commented: “Our aim was to show the athletes what to expect in Paris. But above all, we wanted to inspire them and give them extra motivation for the decisive Olympic qualification phase ahead.”