« I cannot reword »eThe Rio 2016 Olympic Games caused a stir in the sailing world.
Is the testimony of the 32-year-old woman aiming to break a « code of silence » in this industry? A phenomenon that was denounced – two weeks ago – by a small group of offshore racing actors in an « open letter » published by the media Voiles et Voiliers, supported by the launch of a petition on the Change.org platform, with nearly 2,000 signatures to date?
« I cannot reword. »
The events mentioned by this radiant young woman took place « between 1998 and 2002, » when she was « between 7 and 11 years old, » and she openly attributes them to the nearly sixty-year-old volunteer coach of the athletics school she attended while already practicing sailing.
« I was living breathlessly. »
From her entry into sports-study sailing in sixth grade until 2021, the Rochelaise followed a meticulously planned path as an Olympic hopeful gifted in academics. Regattas on all the seas of the world, academic successes crowned by a master’s degree in sports law, a fulfilling social life… But beneath her clear gaze and charming smile, there has always been a hidden « unexplainable discomfort, » she says.
« I lived breathlessly, unable to experience true joy, to enjoy periods of recovery and vacation, » she recalls. These blockages were perceived by her loved ones, coaches, and mental trainers, whom she « defends » herself against, preferring to « keep her head in the handlebars. » « On my boat, I had moments of absence. Beyond losing focus, I simply wasn’t there anymore… »
In 2020, she focuses on completing her studies, becomes fond of running, and loses 15 kilograms. In the spring of 2021, she takes up sailing again, but in the mixed 470 discipline – a new event in the Paris 2024 Olympics. She and her teammate Sidoine Dantès give up six months later. « We were making progress, but not fast enough to hope for selection, » she describes.
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