The Basques north of the Pyrenees have two great sports, pelota and rugby.  We’ve collected more than a few entries about this sport and the passion it inspires among the Basques on the blog.

And we’re talking about it again today because the British daily The Telegraph has just published an amazing article about the captain of the French team, Charles Ollivon, and how he seems to be “reviving” it.

In this article by Charles Richardson, focused on giving us a personal profile of this Basque player, three things pop out.

The first is his Basque origins and his training in rugby teams in our country.  He was born in Bayonne, but his family is from Senpere/St-Pée-sur-Nivelle.  As it says in the article, he’s a Basque de tête a pied, and even though he’s been playing outside the Basque Country for a long time, he still treasures the memory of the fans from our country.

The second aspect the article highlights and which caught our attention is that his agility on the field, which is the key to his success, comes from his love of pelota.  Since he’s too thin, or so it seemed, for rugby, he made up for it with his agility, commitment, effort, and endurance.

And the third element that caught our eye was his personality: a strong character, frank, sincere, determined, with conviction.

You’ll have to be registered with The Telegraph to be able to read the article; it’s free.

The Telegraph – 2/2/2020 – Great Britain

Meet Charles Ollivon, the boy from the Basque country reviving France

If leaders are indeed crafted by their environments, then Charles Ollivon was always destined for the top. France’s new captain hails from St Pée-sur-Nivelle, a village in the heart of the French Basque country, calmed by brisk winds off the Bay of Biscay airs and bulwarked by the looming Pyrenees.

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