Skein / Book: Jean-Do Olharan open book

Skein / Book: Jean-Do Olharan open book

“When Gérard Pierrou, president of the Paloise Pelota Section, contacted me four years ago, I realized that the club did not have an institutional brochure…

“When Gérard Pierrou, president of the Paloise pelota Section, contacted me four years ago, I realized that the club did not have an institutional brochure. It started like that, I made the brochure after meeting eight club world champions, including Jean Olharan, whom I only knew by name and reputation,” Gérard Bouscarel continues.

During the first meeting between the two men, a spark flew. The idea to write a book about the multiple champion of the Cesta Punta sprouts very quickly in the head of the former journalist.

“Jean-Do was born to play pelota”

“I met a boy who started playing pelota before he could walk, with his grandmother’s sausage cutting board! He typed on all four! The family photo is highlighted in the book.

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“His threshold, in Etchebarne, is a triplet and a gable,” smiles the author of the book. “Jean-Do was born to play pelota. In her pen, her cuddly toy is a glove! Jean is a child of pelota”.

A child who is 33 years old today, a professional since the beginning of the 2010s and still considered the best French striker, a world reference on the planet Cesta.

“The idea for the book starts from there, from this plate of sausages,” smiles Gérard Bouscarel. But also the character of Jean, unusual in this professional environment. “There is the legitimacy of a champion, but first and foremost he’s a guy who does this for fun,” he explains. “He is the current French champion, an international, a medal winner at the last World Championship, and he perceives it with an unusual philosophy. For him, fun and games are a priority above all else.”

“On the Spanish side, pelota is above all a job to avoid going to the factory and going professionally to the United States,” adds the champion who always managed to mix spectacle with results.

“Jean-Do was the number 1 French striker for ten years! In Spain, they call him “The Little Prince”, it’s no accident. It’s a pleasure to watch him play! “He delights the former right-hand man of Pierre Seillant. “At the World Championship in Biarritz last October, it was he who saved the second semi-final with a unique spectacle, 2,000 spectators cheered him on their feet, it was great art! »

17 topics, 17 chapters

Filled with anecdotes, moments from life, testimonies, figures and numerous photographs, the book is divided into seventeen chapters corresponding to seventeen periods of Jean Olharan’s life. “Jean accepted the idea of ​​a book quite quickly, even though it bothered him at first. “It’s very strange to read a book about yourself, but in the end it was very good for me! Gérard turned out well”, smiles the person in question.

“What is good about Jean is that he has a huge culture of pelota and an extraordinary memory, he remembers everything, names, results, all tournaments”, says the author, who needed twenty interviews to accumulate the material. “I made notes, and in the evening I cleared everything at home, sorted it by topic. » The American period, the Mexican period, his titles in France, his injuries, his passion for jerseys, the French team… it’s all there!

“I ended up sequencing his life,” explains Gérard Bouscarel, who followed the champion from Pau a lot in the competition to immerse himself even better in his culture and character. “I went to see him play in Biarritz, Guernica, Marquina… I discovered a guy who goes a bit outside the box. »

At the end of the 150 pages of the book, all the proceeds of which will be donated to the pelota school of the Paloise Section, we finally have only one wish, to rush to Jaï Alaï to discover Cesta Punta and its champion Jean Olharan , again in demonstrations this Friday evening in Pau on the occasion of the Cesta de Hopefully. Just to add a line to the already unique list of winners.

“He started playing pelota before he could walk, with his grandmother’s sausage cutting board”

« Jean Olharan, Cesta Passion »

By Gerard Bouscarel. 150 pages. 15 euros. On sale at the Tonnet bookstore, at the Parvis du Leclerc, at the kiosk at Place Clémenceau, at Cultura in Lescar, at the Complexe de pelota and online at the Section Paloise pelota website.

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