For Ysaora Thibus, the Tokyo Olympics were a painful ordeal. Althoughshe won an Olympic silver medal in team foil on July 29, 2021, the foil player missed out on the individual event, and was eliminated in the second round. A disillusionment for Ysaora Thibus who, despite the team medal, returned from Tokyo with a heavy heart and psychologically exhausted.

In an interview with Parisian, published Thursday, November 25, Ysaora Thibus tells “his tears”, “his moments of distress” and his “reconstruction” after the Tokyo Games. “It might be hard to hear from a medal-winning athlete, but I can’t think of my Games as successful,” she says.

After the competition, “I didn’t want to hear any more about fencing. I postponed the resumption of training several times. I took four months to regain the desire. I listened to myself, I took care of my mental health and I assume this period of fragility “, testifies the one who says today is ready to dive back into an Olympic preparation, “by accepting not to know what will be at the end “.

If this “fragility” appeared at the florist, it is in particular because the Olympic Games are a unique competition, the mental dimension of which is unlike any other sporting event. “We are preparing to be effective on a specific day which will arrive in four years. (…) When I lose in the second round of the individual event, when I am vice-world champion, I have to take it right away. I was alone, I cried, I wondered about these five years during which I had invested myself for nothing “, entrusts Ysaora Thibus.

With this speech, Ysaora Thibus wants also break taboos. “Mental health should no longer be a taboo neither for the athlete, nor in society. I want to commit to trivialize this subject. The athlete is only recognized through his medals. He must be strong, determined. , motivated. We are presented as infallible people. This is wrong: an athlete also has his weaknesses. Sometimes he does not want to anymore, and it is his ability to manage these variations that makes him an example “, defends the foilist.

“For an athlete as for everyone: taking care of your mental health is crucial.”

Ysaora Thibus, foil operator

in Parisian

“It took me a long time to heal from this mental wound, she continues, but she made me realize that I have to talk about it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We all need to take care of it on a daily basis. ” Followed by a psychologist since 2018, Ysaora Thibus defends the importance of mental support for high level athletes. And the work is still long according to her. “In sport – especially in France – the importance of psychological follow-up is not yet fully integrated. Support for sessions with a psychologist is not yet self-evident”, considers the team vice-champion.

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