At the Paris Diamond League Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, ran the 800 metres wearing a full France football kit. The Parisians loved it, and so did we.
When Bosse, 22, stepped foot on the track of the Stade de France, the crowd erupted. ‘Les Bleus’ may had been knocked out of the World Cup by Germany the previous night, but there was something about him putting on the famous white-collared shirt and knee-high socks that made everything okay again.
“I loved this French team,” Bosse tells SPIKES. “I am a great supporter of them and I like football in general.”
He also enjoys a kick-about himself. Unfortunately for French football, one issue led him away to track and field.
“I think I’m pretty good at football, but my feet are too long,” he laughs. “I was playing football when I was young, it was my first or second sport."
His first sport? “Rugby. I really like rugby.” With the World Cup coming up in 2015, we might see him sporting another kit in a race next year.
“Maybe,” he says with a grin on his face. “But I would need a medium, or even a small shirt. I don’t know if that even exists, those guys are big.”
But back to the football kit. “One day, my agent wanted me to go on a TV programme on a French sports channel and told me ‘wear a football shirt with your name on the back’.
“I said ‘great idea, but what about doing that in a stadium, in a race?’ and he thought it was a brilliant idea.”
“Obviously my hope was that the team would win, but they didn’t. I guess it’s not too bad to be beaten by the world champions. But it was very comfortable to run in, I liked it.”
Bosse himself had to experience similar heartbreak as les Bleus, when he saw Germany’s Timo Benitz seal the victory on the line in Braunschweig two weeks prior to the Paris Diamond League.
“I’ll never forget, a German guy beat me at the European team champs in a tactical race. I thought he was going to die on the home straight, but he didn’t.”
For the upcoming European championships, he is determined to turn his recent strength, which saw him lower the French 800m record to 1:42.53 at the Monaco Diamond League, into silverware, and hopefully earn a spot on Team Europe for the Marrakech 2014 IAAF Continental Cup in September.
“He [Benitz] won in Germany, but he won’t have that home advantage in Zurich,” Bosse says, like a boss.
Bosse is looking to add another medal to his European junior and U23 golds
Away from the track, he has more hidden talents. “I play the guitar,” he tells SPIKES. “Do you sing?” we ask.
“Yes, I sing. Not in front of men, only in front of women,” he says with a laugh.
“I haven’t got a particular style, like reggae or pop. I don’t have the voice to sing reggae I don’t drink or smoke enough for that. When I’m past 30, I will work on that.
“I’d like to be famous as an athlete before becoming a famous rock star,” Bosse adds.
Although only 22 years old, he has already broken the national 800m record along with European junior and under-23 golds. He admits he has learnt to take the sport a lot more seriously.
“I used to go out a lot, but that’s over for me. It’s my job now, so I have to look after my body.”
He’s certainly making a name for himself on the track, and might just be days away from securing his third major title at the Zurich 2014 European Championships.