French swimmer Fabian Gilot celebrates his team’s gold medal.

Cri de joie! J’aime Fabien! C’est tres cool! (Pardon my rusty high-school French, s’il vous plaît)

Earlier this week the French won the gold in this year’s 4×100 meter Freestyle Relay. Magnifique!

When Fabien Gilot, one of the team members, cheered his heart out from the pool, the crowds saw an interesting tattoo. Well, actually, they would see it soon after when photographs were posted.

The tattoo, which is written in Hebrew, אני .כלום בלעדיהם, translates to, “I am nothing without them.”

Per Tablet, Gilot, who is not Jewish, got the tattoo in honor of his grandmother’s late husband, Max Goldschmidt, who although not his grandfather, “occupied that very particularly influential role for Gilot.”

Goldschmidt grew up in Berlin and survived internment at Auschwitz before moving to France. Gilot’s father, Michel Gilot, says Goldschmidt was an inspirational figure to his son and was witness to his many athletic triumphs. Sadly, he died earlier this year and didn’t see Gilot win the gold.

Gilot senior told Ynetnews, “Max was a Jew who survived the Holocaust and Auschwitz. He was born in Berlin and moved to France after the war, in Fabien’s eyes he was a hero. He admired him and was very attached to him.”

The tattoo was not news in the French media. Gilot has others, specifically Olympic rings and three stars, one for each of his brothers.

I love this story. Wonder if there’s a French word for verklempt?

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