This week we are saying our official goodbyes to one of the best vaulters all time.
I particularly think that Nicolas Andreani changed the sport for good. The french school added drama to a very technical sport, but, as you will be able to notice in this post, the 30 years old vaulter also brings perfection and energy to his performances.
To remind us of what an awesome vaulter he is, here are five moments he amazed us in the past ten years.
1. When this young Nicolas simply ruled over Saumur back in 2005/2006.
This is the first video I managed to find. Although it was uploaded in 2007, I believe it’s from 2005 or 2006.
2. When he had his first big result with the silver medal at the European Championships in 2007
I remember feeling that this freestyle was a little bit heavy at the time. I think time gave Nicolas a lighter touch and suppleness since then.
3. When he nearly made us cry in 2009 during CHIO Aachen
This performance from 2009 give us a glimpse of the Nicolas we all know and love today. Emotional, flawless and light. It was the same freestyle he presented during the 2010 WEGs in Kentucky.
(BE CAREFUL: WATCHING THIS VIDEO MIGHT MAKE YOU HAVE FEELINGS AND ACTUALLY PUT TEARS IN YOUR EYES)
4. When he won the World Championships at home in 2012
To the sound of an instrumental version of Lady Gaga and interpreting a painter.
5. When he was overly excited and actually put his hand on the floor on his dismount
Nico held a private battle with Jacques Ferrari during 2014’s WEGs. They battled fiercely through every single test.
Well, on the first day of freestyle Nicolas was the last one to enter the arena and he had so much energy in him that he gave us a flawless performance if it wasn’t for that final hand on the floor due to an excess of will and power.
As you will easily notice, Nicolas’s freestyle has slowly progressed to what it is today, some of his moves go way way back and we can say that his Einstein routine is the high point of this history.
With time he gained speed on his transitions, flexibility, strenght and expression. It’s cool to watch everything and think about what we can expect from an athlete such as Thomas Brüsewitz, as an example,who is still so very young and actually might hold some characteristics in common with Nicolas Andreani when he was his age, like his boldness and expressiveness.
The vaulting world will surely miss Nico. But what he did for this sport will long be remembered and, well, he will still be around doing amazing presentations (like this one) with his world champion friend Jacques Ferrari.
His last performance that actually made me cry.