My name is Samuel Gouyet. I was born in 1970 in Normandy, France and I teach biology in Paris.
What gay and lesbian sporting clubs are you a member of and how long have you been with them?
I am a member of Contrepied (gay and lesbian volleyball of Paris) for 15 years. I used to be involved in the FSGL (French gay and lesbian sports federation) for 10 years. I have also been a member of the Freezone Volleyball Club for five years.
When did you get involved in the clubs and why?
I got involved when I was sent to Paris for my job. I read an article on Eurogames (European Gay Games) where I learned about the volleyball gay and lesbian association. I found the idea wonderful and wanted to be part of it. One year later I became president and stayed on the board for the following 13 years.
What is your greatest memory? Why?
My greatest memory is my entrance in the stadium in Sydney for the Gay Games 2002. It was a rare mix of the exotic, thrill and the applause of the crowd was amazing. The second is winning a set of 25 points straight only by serving. Nobody moved on the field, even the referee was impressed.
What music do you listen to while training? What motivates you to keep going?
The only music I listen is my screaming muscles during the effort. Feeling pain inside after the session gives me the feeling to have a lot of muscle, that’s why I keep going practising volleyball.
Are you single or in a relationship?
I am single so [there’s] no one to applaud the wonderful effect of sport on my body.
How old were you when you began playing sport? Were you openly gay at this time?
I started at the age of 13. I started to realise I was gay but [I was] far from being openly gay at this time.
Who is your biggest sports fan? How do they show their support for you?
My biggest fans are my trousers and my waistline, showing their support by not following my age.
What is your most embarrassing sports moment?
Every time I touch the ball I feel embarrassed. Seriously, I was supposed to play at a national level because a player was sick, but the match was cancelled a few minutes before.
What would you do without your sport?
I would get fat and bored.
Would you switch to another sport? If so, which one?
Volleyball is the only sport [where] I am not feeling stupid. I think with time I will switch to swimming for my old age.
Tell us about your best sports night out ever.
In 1987 we played to reach the final of school French Volleyball Cup. We played really strong teams but because we were a group of buddies, our mental strength carried us to victory. A truly wonderful day.
How would you get readers interested in your sport?
The only way to get interested by a sport is to practise it.
What is the best thing about your sports club?
My sport club provides me with wonderful friends in Paris and in Sydney, and has allowed me to travel the world to many gay tournaments including the many I have played in Sydney. As president of a homosexual sports club, I was proud to help people accept themselves, and make people more open-minded on the question of homosexuality.

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