Maé-Bérénice Méité is a French figure skater. She is the 2011 Ondrej Nepela Memorial champion, the 2016 International Cup of Nice champion, the 2015 Winter Universiade silver medalist, and a three-time French national champion. She has finished in the top six at three European Championships and represented France at the 2014 Winter Olympics, placing tenth.
Lets check out her preparation for the future Games in conversation with Namita Nayyar, President Women Fitness.
Ms. Namita Nayyar:
You began skating at the young age of five and reached the pinnacle of success by becoming the 2011 Ondrej Nepela Memorial champion, the 2016 International Cup of Nice champion, the 2015 Winter Universiade silver medalist, and a three-time French national champion. Walk us through this spectacular journey and tell us how it all began?
Ms. Maé-Bérénice Méité:
It all started in my home town in France, Vitry sur Seine. I went to the rink after school and just loved it: I told my parents that’s what I wanted to do; and here we are, 18 years later!
Throughout the journey, as every athlete, you have ups and downs: here are my career milestones.
Season 2010/2011, at the age of 15, I had to make the decisions to move up to senior and switch coach: it’s always hard to leave the coach you’ve had for 10 years. But those are decisions you have to make throughout a career.
After that , I made my first steps on the « big scene », first Grand Prix selection, European Championships (9th place) and World championships (14th). It was a huge milestone for me, as well as for the women category in France, as it’s been 10 years since a french lady has been in the top 10 at Europeans. Moving forward to 2014, my first olympics and a 10th place. And then, a knee injury happened, a tear in the right tendon (my landing leg) that would bother me for 3 seasons and a half.
Since then, I tried to fight as much as I could with the injury to keep up: but the level is getting crazier every single seasons and fighting was no longer enough.
Last year, I decided to move permanently to the US, in Chicago. With my current coach, Shanetta Folle, we’ve been working on building new skating skills basis. It’s a time process and last season was especially rough for me, as I didn’t get the results I was aiming for!
But during those hard times, you get to learn a lot more, rather than when everything is going perfect. So today, I’m working hard to be back stronger than ever for the Olympic season.
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