She had the perfect race. Before the medal race, the last race of the RS: X windsurfing event where only the top 10 can participate, Charline Picon was third in the standings. After an exceptional race won widely, the Rochelaise won a fine silver medal, 5 years after her Olympic title at the Rio Games.
It was around 7:30 am French time on Saturday, July 31, 2021, that Charline Picon set off in the waters of Enoshima in Japan with the goal of fetching the most beautiful of medals, with bronze already assured. In special conditions with little wind, the license holder of the Société des Régates Rochelaises (SR Rochelaises) is doing beautifully. “We had windy conditions all week, now we are in a medal race, boom! It changes. As it had been a long time since I had not raced in these conditions, I was a little in a panic. that’s how I run a priori, I walk under pressure, “smiles Charline Pichon at the end of her race, the French flag on her shoulders.
Silver medal for Charline Picon in windsurfing! Despite her victory at the Medal Race, the third place of the Chinese Yunxiu LU did not allow her to win gold. Follow the Olympics live https://t.co/Tki3Gsq4BI pic.twitter.com/vHkcK83THS
She is ahead of Britain’s Emma Wilson the entire race, which gives her the money. The defending champion even believes for a time to repeat the feat of the Rio games in 2016, the Chinese Lu Yunxiu, first overall before the race is then struggling. But the latter managed to reduce her gap at the end of the race and won the Olympic title at the expense of Charline Picon.
But whatever, the Charentaise, the first windsurfer to win two medals in two consecutive Olympics, is delighted. “I am very proud of this medal! The two [Lu Yunxiu and Emma Wilson] were on fire all week, these are their favorite conditions. I had some problems, I broke my fin twice”, analysis she does. Before adding full of joy: “I realize, I already cried a lot when I knew that I was guaranteed to have a medal. I really wanted to make gold but cash! I take this medal! “
Early on the morning of July 31, many came to support Charline Picon, under a marquee set up by the SR Rochelaises, in the port of Minimes in La Rochelle. Filled with joy by the beautiful Charline Picon race, the supporters gave their voice, even from a distance. Among them, Jean-Emmanuel Mestre, his companion and his 4-year-old daughter Lou. “It’s extraordinary, whatever the color of the medal,” reacts Jean-Emmanuel with pride.
immense pride and emotion here in La Rochelle, @piconcharline wins the silver medal at # JOTokyo2021! @ F3PoitouChtes @SRRochelaises pic.twitter.com/upZrtoxojI
Very quickly the emotion takes over the whole marquee. After the race Charline Picon calls her relatives on the phone to share, from a distance, the joy of her medal. “She is full of emotions, says Jean-Emmanuel Mestre. I think she would have liked to share them with us, but that’s how it is.” Tears of joy come to him: “But we are already in emotion here, so I will not tell you if we could have been present.” They will therefore wait for her return to properly celebrate their champion. “But in the meantime, our whole heart is with her,” adds Jean-Emmanuel Mestre.
🥈🇫🇷 Charline Picon VICE-OLYMPIC CHAMPION in RS: X sailing! She won her second Olympic medal after gold in 2016 in Rio. Congratulations Charline 🇫🇷🤩Follow the Olympics live ▶ https://t.co/Tki3Gsq4BI pic.twitter.com/jgZiUnfBFj
The road to Tokyo has not been easy. Following her Olympic title, Charline Picon decides to stop. At that point, she doesn’t yet know if it’s final. After a year and a half and the birth of her daughter, Lou, the Rochelaise decides to return to the board with the Tokyo Games in her sights, the last performance of the RS: X sailing discipline at the Olympic Games. He had to work very hard to regain his level and his physical conditions. “I do not know if she has already been as strong as that”, wonders his companion, Jean-Emmanuel Mestre, admiringly. A few years later, the symbol is strong: after this superb race, Charline Picon won silver on her daughter’s 4th birthday.