French Swimming Star Camille Muffat Calls It Quits; Announces She Will Not Be At European Championships

  38 Anne Lepesant | July 11th, 2014 | Europe, International, News

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.

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38 Comments on "French Swimming Star Camille Muffat Calls It Quits; Announces She Will Not Be At European Championships"

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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 at… Read more »
Miran Herceg

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.

Hi ! 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. As… Read more »
Miran Herceg

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.


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.


About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four teenage daughters, all of whom swim. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently a …

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