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Gaining confidence for Tokyo 2020

Published on July 24th, 2018

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Charline Picon came flying into the room, full of excitement for having just won the women’s windsurfing Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I was working at the Games alongside the event photographers, and had already learned how the athletes loved these guys. Writers, not so much.

Spaniards Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez were well known among the Olympians, having been shooting their events leading up to the Games, and the French sailor wanted to relive her glorious moment through their images. She was not disappointed.

Charline has her sights again on the Olympics, but after having a baby nine months ago, this year is more about doing the best possible to gain momentum toward Tokyo 2020.

Charline Picon

What is it about Charline that fuels her success? “It’s not because I’m relaxed,” she admits. “No, it’s more so a question of perfectionism, determination. I really have a competitive side in me. With everything I do I like to be ahead.”

She recognized this drive early on her sailing. “I think it was my way of existing when I was younger because I was a very shy and closed person. So it was a way to exist and to stand out. It has really guided me on my path and how I compete and train in my sport. I think that’s why I’ve gotten to the top.”

The best athletes have a winning attitude, a focus that allows them to function at a high level. “When I am competing, my expression changes and that’s something, well, I don’t know if I can describe but it’s played a part in my success.”

She will be testing her fitness and focus soon when she competes at the 2018 Sailing World Championships on August 2-12 in Aarhus, Denmark. Held every four years for all ten Olympic classes, Charline is the defending champion from 2014 Santander.

“It’s definitely important to make an impression at the World Championship and to rank amongst the top players worldwide. For me, it’s a different Olympics because of my baby. This year will be hard to go for the highest spot on the podium, but I’ll do everything to train the best I can to show people that they can have confidence in me for Tokyo 2020.”


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