Student life -The Tokyo Olympics 2021: two Rennes SB students share their memories of competing

The Tokyo Olympics 2021: two Rennes SB students share their memories of competing

Two students at Rennes School of Business, Jean-Pierre Bourhis and Francky Mbotto, competed at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. They talk about their “Unframed” journey and their participation in the event. An opportunity to discover two exceptional personalities for whom nothing is impossible!

Jean-Pierre Bourhis: world-class kayaker and double degree student

An engineering student on a double degree course at Rennes School of Business in the MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme and at INSA Rennes (National Institute of Applied Sciences), Jean-Pierre Bourhis has been taking part in high-level kayaking competitions since the age of 8. After participating for the first time in the Rio Olympics in 2016, the Franco-Senegalese Quimper-born athlete returned to compete in the men’s single canoe slalom at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Competing in the name of Senegal, Jean-Pierre managed to land in 14th place of the competition.

A childhood dream to participate in the Olympic Games

Compared to 2016, Jean-Pierre had a very different experience during the Tokyo games. Despite the absence of a crowd of spectators, due to the coronavirus pandemic, for Jean-Pierre, it was another exceptional adventure and he experienced a warm Olympic atmosphere with his fellow competitors. For the top athlete, his experience was fuelled by his own emotion and determination.

An innovative ecological kayak project

A passionate and visionary sportsman, alongside his sporting achievements, Jean-Pierre undertook to launch his first range of eco-designed kayaks as part of his MSc in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Hoping to take his project to the finish line, the kayaker is supported by several associations in Brittany and Senegal to help him develop a more accessible, innovative and environmentally friendly way of kayaking. Future models of kayaks made from natural flax fibres and biosourced resin in Senegal are currently being developed.

Francky Mbotto: passionate about athletics and finance

For top-level athlete Francky Mbotto, the experience was also exceptional. At just 18 years of age, the 400 and 800 metre sprint specialist also took part in the Rio Olympic adventure in 2016. Ranked number 1 in the country he represents; the Central African Republic, Francky also distinguished himself in 2017 at the World Championships in London, finishing 7th in his heat (1’51”76). Five years after Rio, hindsight and experience have enabled him to gain confidence and self-assurance. Just as enthusiastic as Jean-Pierre Bouhris, the hazards of the health crisis did not get the better of his determination and ambitions. Exploding his personal record, Francky finished 8th in his series at the Tokyo Olympics with a time of 1″48″26.

Thinking outside the box with the programmes at Rennes SB

Jean-Pierre, an engineer and student on the Master MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme, has set up another sustainable and responsible project that is close to his heart. The project is Alguisine: an indoor algae growing device. The student wants to bring his project to fruition, building from the initial idea right up to the potential marketing plan.  Currently a student of the Msc in Financial Data Intelligence, Francky Mbotto aims to finish his studies and pursue a career in Finance, a field he is passionate about.

Their motto: Unframed Thinking of course! For the two champions, it’s about daring to think outside the box and to think differently, don’t stop dreaming!

Next objectives and sporting challenges

Franky Mbotto is preparing for the next World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in the summer of 2022. Both athletes hope to reach the top of the podium at the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024, which they will be delighted to compete in “on their home turf”.

We wish them all the best in the world for the continuation of their already extraordinary professional and sporting careers!

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