News and views from Caroline Français
Multiple Swiss diving champion Caroline Français stopped competing in November 2002 after a nasty scooter accident in which she broke her femur. In spite of this bitter blow, the young woman never turned her back on sport.
Caroline Français has been to hell and back. It all started in the month of November 2002, when a car driver knocked down a scooter being ridden by Lausanne’s young diving hope. The diagnosis was delivered: a fractured femur. Enjoying a meteoric rise at the time, the elder of the Français siblings had to take a year’s break: “I had just clinched the title of runner-up in Ukraine and my trainer, Ruslan Maliev, wanted to see me go to the O.G. in Athens. And, given my performances, I knew this was no pipe dream. But I quickly became disillusioned after the injury.” It was a great regret for the Lausannoise, although she looks back on this period without fatalism: “It was at that time that I started my studies at university. It was all the more difficult as I was virtually unable to bend my leg and I had hardly any muscles left. I did try to take up diving again, but I felt a lack of support from the federation.”
“What makes Lausanne so special is the incredible closeness of lake and mountain. It’s easy to go skiing, you can go for a walk along the shores of the lake, we are really lucky.”
A need for water
A somewhat private sport, diving is not the kind of sport of which all young girls dream: “My mother has never done any artistic sports and my father (editor’s note: councillor Olivier Français) doesn’t like the water. Our family preferred cycling, skiing and walking. Perfectly normal activities when you spend several weekends at Les Diablerets every year. I’ve always liked to move. I watched gymnastics but it was a bit too soft for me, so I went in for artistic gymnastics. I did that until I was 14 years old. That was when I started diving.” A pure product of Lausanne, today this young woman runs courses at Les Bergières. In the town she loves. “What makes Lausanne so special is the incredible closeness of lake and mountain. It’s easy to go skiing, you can go for a walk along the shores of the lake, we are really lucky. I know that being near water is absolutely vital to me.”
Perfect for socialising
A stalwart of Ouchy, Caroline Français sees the Vaudois capital as the perfect place in which to make a home: “Once you are down by the lake it feels like being on holiday. If you take European capitals like Madrid or Paris, it’s quite difficult to do any sport outdoors without having to cross the city.” When she is not officiating at the blackboard, the 25-year-old takes aerobics classes at a Lausanne club: “Three times a week, one of them for adults. I really like doing this, it’s not like being at the gym where everyone’s looking at each other.” More of a home bird, Caroline Français enjoys the Java: “Or the Pur in the Flon before or after the cinema. Other than that, I don’t go out a great deal. My brothers tease me for being pathetic.” Or is it quite simply about being mature?
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