News and views from Diane Wild
Swiss fencing champion Diane Wild has swapped the sword for a billiard cue. Aged 48, this dyed-in-the-wool Lausannoise has always enjoyed competing, even when she is not actively doing sport. And that is why she has agreed to help organise the World Three-cushion Billiard Championships in Beaulieu during November (11-15).
Some people are born with a gift, that of being proficient in several sports. Diane Wild falls into this category. She started fencing at the age of six. Eight years later she joined the ranks of the national team. Armed with her sword, she carried off several Swiss championship titles. Then, on a university trip to Brittany, she fell in love with billiards: «It was during a work placement in marine biology,“ she recalls. “One evening we were in our hotel and the only activity available to us happened to be billiards. As the games went by, I realised that I was having enormous fun in playing. As soon as we got back to Switzerland, I looked for a club and threw myself wholeheartedly into this discipline.” Diane Wild quickly gained confidence in billiards and won a Swiss championship title. At the same time, as if to demonstrate her versatility, she also clinched a university title in fencing.
“Lausanne, the perfect combination of a large city in a limited space”
Preference for billiards
But this double life only lasted a short while. She stopped fencing. “I wanted to go on to other things,” she emphasises. “Competing in fencing was no longer bringing me any enjoyment, it had almost become a burden. This was the reason why I preferred to put an end to my fencing career. It was at that moment that I chose billiards and gave it my all. And, as if by fate, the desire to compete reappeared. From that point on I started to compete in tournaments and managed to win two silver medals at the European championships.” But it would be remiss to sum up the story of Diane Wild by her unique sporting career. Nurtured by parents who liked to be involved in the organisation of events, most notably the World Fencing Championships in 1987 in Lausanne, this 48-year-old Lausanne woman has never lost sight of this passion for the staging of events.
Sporty and international
As a former representative of international sport for the state of Vaud, for six years Diane Wild has assisted in bringing sports federations to the canton. One of her greatest achievements, however, is having been able to set up a school of billiards in Lausanne: “At present we have around twenty young people,” she beams with pride. “We had to put the structures in place, which was no easy task because billiards is often seen as a leisure activity rather than as a sport by people and parents.”
Happy in her native city, what Diane Wild likes about Lausanne is its very active side and strong community life. But not just that: “I have a dog so I like to go for walks in Chalet-à-Gobet,” she says, smiling for the umpteenth time. “I feel good here. I sense that this is a very sporty, very international city. I like its ambiance. It’s the perfect combination of a large city in a limited space.” As for her favourite places, Diane Wild struggles to settle for any particular venue: “I like eating at Valente on the Avenue Dapples or at Minuit-Soleil, but I don’t have a regular local.”
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