Published on August 10th, 2020
The defending Olympic women’s windsurfing champion Charline Picon (FRA) explains how she used prior experience of being unable to sail to her advantage during lockdown.
Tell us about your memories of Rio 2016.
Just before the Medal Race I was fourth; after a good week at the beginning, I had a hard last day, so I had to do my best for the Medal Race. I managed to finish second and it was enough to become the gold medalist. It was incredible because there was a lot of tension; seven girls competing for three medals.
For the gold it was a hard battle and I managed a very good race in the conditions I liked – and it was so, so nice. My family were on the beach so they were there for the medal ceremony. I was so happy and smiling as I stood on the podium, received my medal and heard the national anthem. I ended up crying on the podium – but it was good crying for sure!
What has lockdown been like for you? How did you train and keep fit onshore while you weren’t allowed to sail?
During the coronavirus period, I was in La Rochelle at home with my daughter, and I tried to keep fit with physical training. I did my best; it was a strange period but I was confident to be in good fitness by the time I went back on the water. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I spent a few months without sailing, and when I came back I had a good sensation, so I wasn’t afraid with the lockdown. But it was not so fun!
With Tokyo 2020 being rescheduled to 2021, what are your plans for the next 12 months, and how will you prepare and train for another year of Olympic campaigning?
I have continued to train in the RS:X. It’s not so easy because a lot of RS:X class sailors are now sailing with the iQFoil, the Windsurfing equipment for Paris 2024, so there are fewer people in the RS:X. But I found a solution; I’ve been training with some guys and some youth, and I’m happy with that.
Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021