Benjamin Varonian: from sport to circus, from France to China


I don’t come from a sports family and my mother raised me alone. She was a nurse who worked at night. I was a pretty restless boy, and the value of sport was the opportunity to learn discipline and spend all the energy I had.Back at the Sydney Olympics, I remember your great performance which earned you a silver medal in the horizontal bar. What impact has this had on your life and career?

Well, winning an Olympic medal definitely changes your life. It was the first time in France in my discipline that a young stranger did this. I have had so many opportunities to meet other Olympians and champions who help see life differently. The experiences shared by them help them to grow and mature. It was so inspiring for me to be surrounded by such talents.

Now you work as an acrobat in “Chinese Las Vegas” in Macau, in the show “Cirque du Soleil”. Is it common for gymnasts to turn to the world of the circus?

Yes, it is common for us to go to the circus after finishing our career, but I chose a different path at the beginning. I worked seven years in a real estate agency to finish as a director. But, you know, after a while, I was missing so many acrobatics. So I decided to change my life and question myself. After a few months of difficult training, I started auditing and I succeeded. I guess when you reach your dreams and you have the experience and the skills you know work hard to be successful.

How is life in China?


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