Gilles Afoumba is both an athlete and a salesman. It may seem difficult, but Congo's flag-bearer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games manages to reconcile the two activities. The 400 m specialist even enjoys the support of his employer, who has decided to sponsor him.
How does an athlete manage to combine top-level sport with a job on the side? Gilles Afoumba has the answer. A 400 m specialist, Gilles Afoumba works in the sports department of the Carrefour store in Noisy-le-Grand. His daily routine consists of working in the morning and then training in the evening. "At 6:30 am, I start work in the sports department of the Carrefour store in Noisy-le-Grand (93), until 2 pm. Then I take a nap before going to training at 6 p.m., at the Jules-Ladoumègue stadium, at the Porte de Pantin (XIXe)," recounts the athlete in an interview with Le Parisien.
At some point, the athlete will have to take a break from his work to focus on his preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Yes, Gilles Afoumba has a strong chance of competing in the Olympics. Failing to achieve the 400 m minimums, the athlete must remain in the world's top 100 next June in the event and the Congolese is in a good position. He's 49th. He's even tipped to be Congo's flag-bearer. "I've got a good chance of being flag-bearer again at the Paris Games", says the athlete, who broke the Congo record in the 400 m after moving to France to intensify his training.
His job as a salesman at Carrefour not only earns him money, but also brings comfort to his sporting career.His employer has decided to sponsor him to help him prepare for Paris 2024. Gilles Afoumba will take unpaid leave from November onwards, and will fly to the United States for a seven-month training camp."For these Games, my aim is to reach the semi-finals and beat my record, by going under 45 seconds", the athlete ambitions. His current lap record is 45s65.