After a first try, Gwendal Peizerat will once again try his luck on the legendary course of Ninja Warrior during this sixth season broadcast this Friday, January 7 on TF1. In an interview with Gala.fr, the former figure skater returned to his experience but also his new career in song.
Will he succeed super champion Jean Tezenas du Montcel ? Determined to secure his place in the final and defend the association The wheat of hope, Gwendal Peizerat has decided to try his luck again by participating in the sixth season of Ninja Warrior, broadcast from this Friday, January 7 on TF1. Despite an injury, which turned his training upside down, former Olympic figure skating champion did not give up. From his physical preparation, to his experience in the show through his reconversion in the song, Gwendal Peizerat agreed to answer the questions of Gala.fr.
Gala.fr: Why did you decide to try the Ninja Warrior experience ?
Gwendal Peizerat: This challenge is a real adventure. Faced with the efforts that this represents, it was almost an Olympic challenge for me. I decided to try the experience again because the atmosphere on the show, as in the training rooms, is really super pleasant. It really is a lot of mutual aid and brotherhood within the Ninja community. It’s an atmosphere that is not found so easily in all high-level sports. The first time I arrived in a Ninja room, the coaches and supervisors immediately came to see me without knowing who I was. I find it really super enjoyable. In this sport, the real adversary is the course. We are therefore all together against the course.
Gala.fr: After a first experience in 2021, you try your luck again. How do you approach this second participation?
Gwendal Peizerat: I approach it with great desire and high goals. I trained much more seriously, with a very calculated program. I worked as an Olympic athlete. Unfortunately, during those hours of training, I got injured a few weeks before the show. I broke the pulley on my left ring finger. It is a typical injury of climbers. It handicapped me a lot for the preparation of this season.
“The course is difficult from the very first obstacle to the rope”
Gala.fr: How did you adapt your training hours to this injury?
Gwendal Peizerat: I continued to train with a support ring. I didn’t have the operation because we really didn’t have time. At the start of this injury, I really couldn’t use my finger. I did everything on one arm. I gradually adapted my movements while clenching my teeth.
Gala.fr: What are your new goals?
Gwendal Peizerat: Buzzer, buzzer, buzzer (he laughs)! The goal is to qualify for the final. I trained with the best because I am aware of the very high level of the competition. I also participate in Ninja Warrior to defend the association Le Blé de l’Espérance. So I hope to go as far as possible in the adventure to be able to talk about her.
Gala.fr: You fell during your first participation, what did you learn from this mishap?
Gwendal Peizerat: The course is difficult from the very first obstacle to the rope. Regardless of his level, abilities and experience. Anyone can fall at any time. It only takes a quarter of a second of inattention or a lack of concentration for the adventure to end abruptly. We can train, no one has ever seen the course. We find ourselves on obstacles that we do not know and specificities that must be mastered at the time.
“Ninja Warrior journeys take a lot of effort and concentration”
Gala.fr: In your opinion, what are the keys to a successful Ninja Warrior course?
Gwendal Peizerat: You have to have a lot of very diverse qualities. Of course, you have to have physical qualities with the ability to project your body into space before crossing the obstacle and imagine the technique you will use to reach it. Ninja Warrior courses require a lot of effort and concentration. You also need to have a good capacity for balance, great adaptation and great humility.
Gala.fr: You have been Olympic figure skating champion in 2002. How could this discipline have helped you during your participation in Ninja Warrior?
Gwendal Peizerat: She helps me to progress very quickly in terms of technique. We are used to correcting movements very quickly in order to have better control of our body and better coordination. And then, it also helps me cash in the hours of training and concentration. But there are also downsides. In skating, the muscles and the weights are distributed mainly on the legs whereas they are 80% of the time useless in Ninja Warrior.
Gala.fr: What do you remember from these experiences in Ninja Warrior?
Gwendal Peizerat: It really allowed me to regain a taste for the challenge. And then, it got me back in shape. I ended up with a healthy weight that corresponded to the one I had at the 2002 Olympic Games. I regained physical capacities and musculature similar to the one I had twenty years ago. It feels really good.
Gala.fr: What do you think of the super champion Jean Tezenas du Montcel?
Gwendal Peizerat: I love its simplicity and its sharing. We train together, we share, we encourage each other, we challenge each other. The Ninja community is a pretty tight family with a great atmosphere that I really appreciate.
Gala.fr: You participated in Koh-Lanta, The island and even Ice show, what do you like about these game shows?
Gwendal Peizerat: For The Island and Koh-Lanta, the adventure close to nature was a real challenge. From organizing the group, to living with others and discovering oneself in extreme conditions, it was really a very interesting sociological experience. For Ice Show, it was a huge chance to be able to promote my sport and share it with personalities. It was a great experience, but unfortunately too short.
Gala.fr: What other TV show would you like to participate in?
Gwendal Peizerat: I would like to practice another facet of my life that I miss a bit, and that is dance. So i will say Dance with the stars. I admit that if the production is eyeing me, I would have a hard time saying no (he laughs).
“Music has always been part of my life”
Gala.fr: Not long ago you got into music when you released your first album. How did you get this idea ?
Gwendal Peizerat: I had already released a self-produced EP in 2018 that didn’t go too badly. Music has always been part of my life. I have been playing the piano since I was 8 years old. Then I learned to play the guitar. Then I met Michael jones. He gave me a taste for the music scene. He took me on stage with him and even sponsored me in my musical adventure. Besides, I made my album “Anticigale” with Christophe Bosch, who is none other than his bassist. At the end of the first confinement, we made this album with songs that I have written throughout my life. They tell of my journey, the people I have met and my life. For the moment, it is simply available on my website. It’s a real adventure because I did everything from A to Z. It’s still a challenge to start from zero with zero speed. I don’t use the momentum of my past life for my new adventures. I like to relearn everything.
Gala.fr: What are your projects?
Gwendal Peizerat: Succeed in organizing a tour in these difficult times related to Covid-19. I had plenty of dates scheduled that I’m constantly pushing back. For the moment we are a little stuck but we are not losing hope. During that time, I focus on this album but also on writing and creating a new album.
Gala.fr: Will your fans see you one day on the ice?
Gwendal Peizerat: Recently, I proposed a new concept on an ice rink. I sing, play guitar, and skate at the same time. It’s a new challenge, you can’t even imagine it (he laughs). I invented this concept which I develop slowly but surely.
Photo credits: LAURENT VU / TF1