Marie-Amélie Le Fur, supported by the Caisse d'Epargne Loire Centre through the Performance Pact Foundation, looks back on her career and the multiple lives that have enabled her to become a successful woman leading a perfectly fulfilling life.
A three-times Paralympic athletics champion, President of the French Paralympic & Sports Committee, and now sports representative on the French Economic, Social & Environmental Council, she is a busy woman juggling a multitude of activities and schedules.
A life in the fast lane for Marie-Amélie Le Fur
We have all grown accustomed to attending videoconferences in a tracksuit, an inevitable consequence of teleworking... but for Marie-Amélie, a tracksuit is her usual working outfit. And today, Monday, her place of work is in Talence, in the suburbs of Bordeaux (western France). She’s speaking in front of her computer in her capacity as the president of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, with the CREPS* athletics stadium in the background. It’s 12:30pm but the day began much earlier for our multifaceted champion.
The young mother, who lives in Blois in the Loire valley, left her daughter and her husband early this morning to take the first high-speed TGV train to Bordeaux. Every Monday, she joins her coach, Jean-Baptiste Souche, and a few members of the French para-athletics team for specific long-jump training. It’s a good hour’s journey by TGV, giving her the time to check through her emails from the weekend before moving back into athlete mode for the first training session of the day. This always starts with the same routine: a change of prosthesis and a few warm-up laps around the track.
Life as a champion
After a scooter accident at the age of 15, Marie-Amélie Le Fur had her left leg amputated below the knee. When she realized that her dream of becoming a professional firefighter would never materialize, she focused her ambitions on sport. Already a national-level athlete in middle-distance running, she joined the Paralympic movement and rapidly started to win her first medals: gold in the 100m in London 2012 followed by two gold medals in the 400m and long jump events in Rio 2016… not to mention five other Paralympic medals and world titles!
A well-balanced life
The secret of her success is her ability to strike a balance between her life as a top-level athlete, her life as a wife and mother, and a fulfilling professional life. Employed by the EDF utility company since 2013, she is now on full-time secondment but still needs to vary her activities to perform well: “I have always had a job alongside my training as an athlete. It’s that complementarity of passions on a daily basis that makes me feel fulfilled. For me, it is essential to give myself moments when I can just let go.”
There won't be much letting go today: after the first training session came a Covid test before tomorrow’s competition, then a snack before a series of videoconferences and phone calls. By then it’s already 3pm and time for the 2nd training period, a one-on-one session with Jean-Baptiste for more specific technical advice, rounded off with a series of hurdles... all before taking the TGV back to Paris because, tomorrow, she has a reception at the National Assembly before heading off to compete in the Paris suburbs.
Although she is constantly switching between roles, she always displays an unfailing commitment to her sport, as confirmed by her coach: “She’s mature enough to manage her sporting objectives by herself. So she’s the boss. She’s the one who decides what’s important... and we are there to support her as best we can in that situation.”
On her way to Tokyo
This season, Marie-Amélie has decided to compete only in the long-jump event in Tokyo, to avoid spreading herself too far, to try to perform to the best of her abilities. Last February in Dubai, this strategy paid off when she broke a world record in her category with a jump of 6.14m!
See you in Tokyo, Marie-Amélie!
* Center for Resources, Expertise and Sporting Performance