This is a fantastic interview (in French) with a world class athlete and class-act person. Jessica talks about her Canoe Slalom victories, her 2012 Silver medal in slalom kayak at the London Olympics, and her disappointment that women canoeists will once again be shut out of the Olympics for Rio 2016. She views the International Canoe Federation’s decision to exclude women again “as a slap for all the girls in the discipline.”
On sait maintenant que le C1 dame ne sera pas au programme des Jeux olympiques de Rio en 2016, qu’en penses-tu ? JF : « Le fait d’être olympique était une belle perspective mais cette décision je la vois comme une gifle pour toutes les filles de la discipline.
Lack of Olympic status makes things very difficult for women and girls to train and compete at a high level in the sport. The majority do not have access to the same funding sources as those within the Olympic events and they do not have access to the same professional coaching and other resources (e.g., medical, nutrition, sports psychology, etc.). Some, still, are left at home.
Jessica has risked much over the years speaking out for inclusion of women’s canoe in the Olympic program and gender equality. We thank her for her courage and stand with her.