The European swimming world was scratching their collective head last weekend when Camille Muffat, one of France’s most decorated swimmers and the anchor of its current women’s national team, picked up and left the French Open citing “personal reasons.”
Today the 24-year-old Muffat announced she is quitting the sport.
Something took place between Muffat and her coach Fabrice Pellerin, last Wednesday, July 2, that pushed her over the edge. “I’m not angry at anyone,” Muffat told L’Equipe, France’s sports newspaper.
Muffat had trained under Pellerin at Olympic Nice Natation since she was 12 years old. ONN was a real powerhouse leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games with Yannick Agnel, Clément Lefert and Charlotte Bonnet, among others, on the roster.
This is a huge blow to the French team as it gets ready for the European Championships in Berlin. Muffat had qualified in the 50-100-200-400 free and 100 fly. “I can’t continue for the team; it’s not in my temperament. It’s so clear in my head; it would be a shame. Yes, I was on a lot of relays and I realize I will be missed, but I am hoping they can do it without me.”
Muffat’s early retirement and absence from the European Championships roster will make more of an impact on France’s prospects when you take Camille Lacourt’s ongoing injury into account. Lacourt may be able to swim the 50 backstroke at best, but his injury is problematic.
Muffat is a three-time Olympic medalist and former World Record holder. She held both the 400 SCM freestyle and 800 SCM freestyle World Records from November of 2012 to August of 2013.
As a two-time French Olympian in 2008 and 2012, she appeared in multiple Olympic finals. Her highest finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was fifth as a member of the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay. In the 2012 London Olympics, she won a gold medal in the women’s 400 freestyle, setting a new Olympic record in the process. She earned a silver medal in the women’s 200 meter freestyle, and a bronze medal as a member of the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay.
She was also the third Frenchwoman in history to earn 3 medals in a summer or winter Olympic Games.
Outside of the pool, she was named the 2012 French Sportswoman of the Year.
Hi everybody !
I was very disappointed about Camille’s choice, because I think that if she wanted to stop swimming, she should do it after the european championship because now she is killing the 4x200free relay which was excellent with her this year ( Camille would swim 1:55, charlotte 1.56 Balmy 1.56 or 1.57 and the very very Young Chloé Hache(1997) swam 1.59.5 in the french championship) Now without her the gold medal is over. I think it will be to the Great Britain ! However, I respect her choice, I am a swimmer and I know that’s swimming is a very strict sport which could speedly become boring. For me, Camille took this decision because she discovered that… Read more »
Hello. I am from Croatia and big big fan of Camille and I am verry sorry to hear she retired. I dont know true reason but now French swimming is ruined. I am swimmer to but really dont understand her.
And I am interested if you know in what form are Balmy and Bonnet and where is swimer Ophelie Cyril Etienne? I dont see her in very long time.
Well Balmy is great now last month she swam around 4:06 at the 400 meter freestyle and 1.58 in the 200m after a difficult training in moutain. However, I think it will be not fast enough to be in the podium. Carlin, Belmonte and Pellegrini had much faster time this season. Or Coralie must be at her best level as in London where she swam 4.03.66 in the heats.To my ming, Bonnet is the new french swiming star. In my opinion she is able to swim around 1:56. Once again, the podium is out for me.(Siobban, Popova, Pellegrini, why not Hoszu, and of course, Sjöström) But for Rio, I think that she could be an olympian medallist.… Read more »
I’m very disappointed about Camille’s choice because I think that for all of the french relay (especially the 4x200free) she can’t give up in such a
I’d like to see her have a change of heart and end up training with Phillippe Lucas. He obviously knows these events very well.
Also, I hope that no longer being in Camille’s spotlight slingshots Coralie Balmy forward and on to medal-winning times. She’s now going to be the veteran captain of the French women’s team. She’s been remarkably consistent and posts her best times at big meets, but seems to fall just short of the dais. Let’s hope that she can be the leader France’s women’s team needs and gets a chance to shine.
With Lucas for a comeback?
I don’t know if she would see that as good idea. 😆
And he trains Pellegrini for Rio.
The women’s French swimming is now almost all on the shoulders of Coralie Balmy and especially the young Charlotte Bonnet who represents, in my opinion, the only French olympic medal chance on the women’s side in 2016. Camille Muffat is still alive but the 4X200 free relay is dead today with the retirement of Camille.
I will never be a Pellegrini fan. I will never forgive her for her role in the unraveling of Laure Manaudou. I would love for Muffat to join Lucas’ squad and destroy her every day in workout and subsequently in meets.
An excellent idea. It would greatly benefit both of them.
Extremely sad news…
The most effortless and beautiful freestyle stroke on the women’s side. But I’m an optimist. She’ll be back.
I know you love her a lot. 🙁
But she’s not dead! 🙂
A come back? Possible. Other big names said they’d retire for ever
But Camille swims the 200 free and the 400 free.
It’s not sprint.
Very hard to come back in these distances after a long break.
Camille, French swimming will miss you a lot.
I’m surprised and a little stunned like most of you.
I didn’t see that coming right in the middle of the season!
She looked better and better throughout this season.
It’s a little incomprehensible.
But it’s her decision and I respect that.
Of course I’ve remarked like many of you that she’s the 4th big name after Yannick Agnel, Lotte Friis and Pernille Blume to quit Fabrice Pellerin. Fabrice Pellerin is a fantastic freestyle coach with tremendous results. Yannick Agnel has swum his best races with him. Lotte Friis has destroyed her best times with him. Camille Muffat was a great IMer and has… Read more »
I don’t know any answers, but I feel this could be akin to Rebecca Adlington. Once she knew Bill wasn’t going to be able to coach her anymore, she decided she’d rather not go on without him. I think (Correct me if I am wrong) Fabrice has essentially been Camille’s life long coach? Born and bred in Nice. Perhaps, if there has been this dispute you speak of, perhaps Camille doesn’t feel able to work with Fabrice any longer and would rather retire than find a new coach? We’ve seen before, Camille has all the talent in the world, but she had seemed to struggle with the emotional/mental aspects of being a professional athlete. Could she find that psychological harmony… Read more »
Like all, I hope Muffat doesn’t turn in the anti-doping paperwork and therefore make her wait a 9-month period if and when she decides to make a return. I don’t know why, but some swimmers need to take a season’s rest from the sport to reassess their goals and regain that hunger to win again. Some swimmers simply grow tired of the sport and you can tell based on their results. Muffat, Pellegrini, Rice, Steffen, Cseh, Magnini, Palmer etc are a few examples.
Missing selection for Beijing 2008 was a blessing in disguise for Dana Vollmer. She had to rediscover that hunger to win. And win she did, big time. I’m hoping we can say the same for Katie Hoff.… Read more »
Well every country racing the 4×200 free will benefit. France just got 4-5 seconds worse in that relay.
True to that. The Chinese and the Brits will most likely be the beneficiaries of Muffat’s decision.
This is really sad for swimming, Camille is someone I’ve always enjoyed watching with her lovely smooth stroke and the way she is able to just put her foot down and go away from other swimmers without any apparent increase in effort. I was looking forward to seeing her back on form and putting up some great swims in Berlin.
Obviously the decision to quit is hers and hers alone, but I hope she follows Beachmouse’s advice and takes some time away before deciding for good. It would be a shame to lose a swimmer of her quality to a decision made in the heat of whatever incident has provoked this.
Have to wonder what is going on with Pellerin… Read more »
Jeah, I hope bobo doesn’t quit swimswam over this… or the present perfect. She’ll be back in 2015 with a new coach.
Laughing right now–very hard at the moment.
😆 😆 😆 😆