Alain Bernard

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Alain Bernard
Alain Bernard .jpg
Personal information
Full name Alain Bernard
Nationality  France
Born (1983-05-01) 1 May 1983 (age 30)
Aubagne, France
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 90 kg (200 lb; 14 st)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
Club CN Antibes

Alain Bernard (French pronunciation: ​[alɛ̃ bɛʁnaʁ]; born 1 May 1983) is a former French swimmer from Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône.

Bernard won a total of four medals (two golds, one silver and one bronze) at two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012). He also won numerous medals at the World Championships (short course and long course) and European Championships (short course and long course).

Bernard formerly held the world record for the 50 metres freestyle (long course) and the 100 metres freesyle (long course and short course).

Bernard has a shark tattoo on his right hip.

2008 European (Long Course) Championships[edit]

Bernard won the European (Long Course) Championships 2008 100 m freestyle final in a new world record time of 47.50 seconds on 22 March 2008. He had already beaten the world record the previous day, finishing in 47.60 seconds in the semi-finals. On 23 March 2008 Bernard broke Eamon Sullivan's 50 m freestyle world record in the semi-finals of the same championships, setting a new world record of 21.50 seconds. Bernard would go on to win the 50m freesyle final in 21.66 seconds. But Bernard's 21.50-second world record only stood for four days; it was reclaimed by Eamon Sullivan. [1]

2008 Olympics[edit]

At the French national championships, Bernard qualified for the Olympic Games in Beijing in the 50 m freestyle (with a time of 21.69 s) and 100 m freestyle (47.82 s).

Before the 4×100 m freestyle relay, Bernard taunted the American swim team. He and the rest of his French team ended up in second place behind the American team by .08 seconds. Bernard, who had a lead going into the final leg of slightly less than a body length, was caught in the final strokes by Jason Lezak, whose final leg of 46.06 seconds was the fastest relay leg in history.

The close defeat left Bernard "wounded," according to his coach.[2] However, he rebounded to win the men's 100 metres freestyle gold medal. In that 100 metres freestyle final, Lezak tied for the bronze nedal. Bernard had one day earlier set a new 100 metres freestyle long course world record of 47.20 s in the semi-finals. Bernard became only the second Frenchman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming, after Jean Boiteux, who won the 400 m freestyle at the 1952 Helsinki Games. He also finished third in the men's 50 metres freestyle final behind César Cielo Filho of Brazil and Amaury Leveaux of France, making it the first time in Olympic history that France had produced two medallists in a swimming final.

2012 Olympics[edit]

Bernard failed to qualify for the 50 m freestyle and 100 m freestyle events of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London by finishing only fifth in both events during the French swimming championships in March 2012.[3][4] He was in the French 4 × 100 m freestyle relay team in the heats at the Olympics, but was not included in the team for the final. France won the event which made Bernard a two-time Olympic gold medalist.[5]

Awards[edit]

Bernard was chosen as the 2008 L'Équipe Champion of Champions(France category) by L'Équipe.

He was also chosen as the 2008 RTL Champion of Champions by RTL,a French commercial radio network. This annual sports award was inaugurated in 2008. [6]

On 1 January 2013, Bernard was made an Officer (Officier) of the French National Order of Merit.[7]

Personal bests[edit]

Personal bests
Event Long course Short course
50 m freestyle 21.23 20.64
100 m freestyle 46.94 45.69
200 m freestyle 1:47.81 1:46.43

The 100m long course time (46.94) was not admissible as a world record because it was swum in a non-approved swimsuit.[8]

Service in the French Gendarmerie[edit]

Alain Bernard has been a volunteer in the Gendarmerie since 2008 and was until recently attached to the Groupement blindé de gendarmerie mobile based in Versailles-Satory in the Yvelines department.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Men's 50 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

23 March 2008 – 27 March 2008
Succeeded by
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Preceded by

Netherlands Pieter van den Hoogenband
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Men's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

21 March 2008 – 11 August 2008
13 August 2008
23 April 2009 – 22 June 2009 (record annulled)
Succeeded by

Australia Eamon Sullivan
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Preceded by
Sweden Stefan Nystrand
Men's 100 metres freestyle
world record holder (short course)

7 December 2008 – 12 December 2008
Succeeded by
France Amaury Leveaux
Awards
Preceded by
Poland Mateusz Sawrymowicz
European Swimmer of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Germany Paul Biedermann
Preceded by
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
French Sportperson of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena