(July 31) Charline Picon, supported by Banque Populaire Aquitaine Centre Atlantique*, and Thomas Goyard, supported by Banque Populaire Méditerranée, won two magnificent silver medals in the RS:X windsurfing event, a triumphant recognition for two exceptional life stories!
So many sacrifices...
When you consider the demands made on high-level athletes, and the sacrifices they have to make – and even more so when they rank among the world’s very best – you can imagine how complicated everyday life can become when you also happen to be a mother! It means making sometimes difficult, and even heart-breaking, choices that inevitably have an impact on the entire family. So you can imagine the immense joy when these efforts are rewarded with a silver medal! Charline Picon was, of course, extremely proud – after all, she’s the first woman to win a double Olympic medal in sailing – but deeply gratified that all those sacrifices both big and small (especially when you know how demanding she is in her relationship with her body and her nutrition) had not been made in vain, that they had meaning. Especially since Lou, Charline Picon's daughter, turned 4 years old on the day of the last regatta that won her this silver medal!
And also (as we are constantly reminded by the sportsmen and sportswomen themselves) it is one thing to reach the top but it is another – and perhaps a more complex and undoubtedly more psychologically difficult – thing to stay there! You’re not necessarily driven by the same urgent desire to reach the summit. So, five years after winning gold in Rio, Charline Picon’s silver medal is also an outstanding achievement for that very reason! But we should also pay tribute, in particular, to her coaches Cédric Leroy and Julien Bontemps for their hard work and devotion. She was asked after the medal presentation ceremony whether or not she intends, at the age of 36, to pursue her career as far as 2024… and we gathered from her answers that she would like to continue but in a team event, in order to share the effort, joys and sorrows. So the story doesn’t necessarily end here...
Thomas Goyard’s remontada
Thomas was faced with a different challenge. To start with, unlike Charline, he wasn’t expected to make it to Tokyo, despite being the European champion in 2020 and winning a bronze medal at the world championships in 2019. This is why his silver medal gave him another, equally immense kind of emotion: the thrill of the comeback… all the more so as he was disqualified in the final race! Fortunately for him, this setback didn’t have any serious consequences – apart from those terrible few moments in a cold sweat – and the day ended in jubilation for this young athlete and member of the Caledonian Surfing & Sailing Association in Noumea who spent a part of his childhood on his parents' catamaran. He managed to perfection his week of racing on the waters of Enoshima. Coming in 6th place at the end of the first day of racing, he gradually worked his way up the rankings to finish with a magnificent silver medal!
Congratulations to our windsurfers!
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* Via the Performance Pact.
Photo copyright : Sailing Energy