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.