30 years later | Foggy memories of the quiet Olympian

That was in 1992. Within a few days, Sylvie Fréchette discovered the dead body of her fiancé and won her first Olympic medal. Almost thirty years after the next day, the former Olympian does not remember “almost nothing” from this period of her life. But it is quiet. And above all, happy.

Posted at 7:00 am

Catherine Harvey Benard

When answering a call JournalismEarly Thursday evening, Sylvie Fréchet was installed in her backyard. The cry of his dog plays in the background.

Saturday will be the 30the Anniversary of Frechette’s gold medal in synchronized swimming at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The 55-year-old wanted to celebrate the occasion in her own way, without too much fla-fla. She initially thought of returning to Barcelona with her two daughters. But due to everything that is happening in the world right now, I decided to postpone the trip. Scrolling through the Facebook news feed, I came across an ad for Traversée du lac Tremblant, which will be taking place this weekend.

The first thing I see: [le 1 km a lieu] August 6th. This is the day I swam in Barcelona. Look at the time: 8 am, the medal ceremony at 10 am. These are the times I swam in Barcelona. I got goosebumps. »

Sylvie Fréchette started training last September. She launched a small master’s club within her club, Natation Neptune, in Saint-Jérôme. Five of the 20 women who are part of it will participate in Traversée together.

“On Saturday, without people knowing it, I’ll be surrounded by people who love the water, who want to be in the water, to swim, and to outdo themselves,” suggests the person for whom he will be working on his first open-water experiment.

His mother and stepfather, who were present at the Olympics 30 years ago, will be there to greet him at the end.

“We agree, we’re talking about a kilometer! She screams. But I decided it was a moment in my life. And I decided to taste it in my own way, quite simply. But I’m talking to you and I have a smile on my head!”

“There is a gap in my life”

Sylvie Frechette’s life was completely turned upside down on July 18, 1992, a few days before she left for Barcelona. After returning from training, she discovers the body of her fiancé, Sylvain Lake, who committed suicide.

The 25-year-old sportswoman meets the media in the following days, despite her pain being overwhelmed. She is going to the Olympics.

To this day, Fréchet has few memories of what happened.

She says, “Since July 18, 1992, I’ve been white. There’s a hole in my life. It’s another personal job I have to do: Diving into this moment to try and realize until the hole begins.”

“The only way for me to survive, at the height of my 25 years, was to be shocked,” she explains. I have flashes, moments I think I remember. But quite frankly, sometimes I’m not sure if I remember it or if it’s just not the picture I got from the people who told me about it. »

“It’s really frustrating, but at the same time, my grandfather would say to me, ‘Ti daughter, nothing happens for nothing. It’s probably better this way than remembering the pain and helplessness. I can’t even say anger, because I didn’t feel any anger.”

It was only a few years ago that she realized why at the time she decided to take part in the games despite everything.

“What is left, when your 25-year-old fiancée commits suicide and thinks you will marry and have children with this man? I had to feel alive. It’s a little sad, but the only way I had to get through was by swimming.”

epic medal

In Barcelona, ​​Fréchette gave the best performance of his life, but the Brazilian judge made a mistake and gave him 8.7 instead of 9.7. The judge admits her mistake, but the organizers refuse to change the outcome. So Kipker must eventually settle for the silver, with the gold going to American Kristen Babb-Sprague.

Once again, Frechette’s memories are vague, almost non-existent. She remembers standing up before taking the starting position, the moment she raised her arm in the air at the end of her performance. “I imagine that one day, the circle will complete a full circle. Perhaps there are things I will remember,” she said.

Several weeks after his return, Dick Pound, then a member of the International Olympic Committee, contacted the athlete by phone and explained that he had a file “hard enough to get him”. [sa] gold medal.” Fritchett, who until that time had no “intent to lead a legal battle,” agreed and let the file run its course without questions asked.

“I found it very touching, but at the same time it was very difficult for all the people who stopped me every day to tell me: ‘Sylvie, your medal was stolen, you should have taken the gold.’ It affected me so much, this wave of love, but At the same time, I had the impression that I could not move forward. »

It was not until December 1993 that the IOC decided to award her her gold medal, which is associated with the American. “It has been 16 months and 9 days too long, but let’s just say it was all worth it!”

Beautiful memory

Thirty years later, 1992 is now a “beautiful memory” for Sylvie Frechette.

“Sylvain’s choice, it remains that it does not belong to me, I fall. It has consequences for my life, but his choice, who am I to judge? I learned, after 30 years, to find my happiness again. Life is like that. It consists of ups and downs and slaps in the face. »

“I am fifty-five, have two beautiful women and am in new love over my head like I never thought possible. My mother is in good health, and my grandfather is too.”

“I have such a simple life, but I love it, my life. »

If you need support, if you have suicidal thoughts or if you are concerned about someone close to you, call 1866 APPELLE (1866277-3553). A suicide prevention agent is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

#years #Foggy #memories #quiet #Olympian

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Exit mobile version