In Melbourne during 2013 Australian Open, the world number 1 weelchair tennis Stéphane Houdet, has announced his support to HandiCap sur le Monde. He is today paralympic champion, Roland Garros 2012 winner and one of the French ambassador in sport for the disabled, and it is a great honor for our organization to have him as a sponsor.
Stéphane Houdet story and professional path are quite unusual. He had a motorbike accident when he was 25 in which he lost the use of his left knee. Not longer after he got amputated. Even if he started playing tennis at the age of 8, he first excelled in golf. He was French champion in golf several times and won the French international tournament in 2005. His goal was to become a paralympic champion in London in 2012 but faced the issue that the sport disapeared from Olympic Games for Pekin.
Therefore, he decided to get involved in weelchair tennis to achieve his goal of having an Olympic medal. He became quickly one of the best French player and then got to the world top rank and became soon world number 1 in June 2012. Following worldwide tournament and like HandiCap sur le Monde, the champion is going all around the world to show disability is not an obstacle to success.
We had the great opportunity to meet Stéphane Houdet during one of his training at Australian Open on Melbourne Park court. Very available, the champion listened to us with attention detailing our project and request to him. Receptive and enthousiastic about supporting the organization, he offered us to meet him at Grand Hyatt hotel in Melbourne the same evening, where the draw for the Open weelchair tennis will be announced. We took a photo together before meeting him in Melbourne center.
After the draw announcement, we did a video with him detailing his commitment to our actions. He did even more by inviting us to the cocktail to get the chance to talk a bit more. We had a very unique moment with this great champion and talked, out of everything, about disparity between the ATP tennis and the weelchair tennis.
His experience in professional sport and his willing to always be the best in everything he does have fascinated us straight away. Stéphane is very impressive on the court but also outside the tennis environment, from his kindness to his commitment to numerous actions. There is no doubt his name and fame will help HandiCap sur le Monde to spread the word about its actions to many. We hope we will keep developing actions together and create new ones soon!
Find here a video of Stéphane Houdet filmed during the Australian Open draw for weelchair tennis: Stéphane details how he supports HandiCap sur le Monde:
To know more about Stéphane Houdet
Australian Open 2013, live and results it’s here
To follow Stéphane Houdet on Twitter: @StphaneHoudet