Astrid Guyart, a former fencer on a mission to pacify French sport

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By John

When she started her day, Thursday, May 25, Astrid Guyart did not suspect that she was going to have to endorse, temporarily, the costume of patron of the National Olympic Committee for French Sport (CNOSF). But the surprise resignation of Brigitte Henriques, announced at the opening of the general meeting of the body, propelled her to the front of the stage. The current secretary general of the CNOSF is entrusted with the interim, until the election of the next president, “within three months” which will follow June 29, date of the effective departure of Mme Henriques.

If, in his eyes, the former vice-president of the French Football Federation “made a brave gesture so that the institution could be protected”his departure is no less “an unexpected thunderclap”.

The former fencing champion is well aware of this: fourteen months before the Paris Olympic Games (from July 26 to August 11, 2024), her first mission is now to bring a little serenity to an institution shaken for more than a year and a half by many turbulences.

“We should be living the four hundred best days of our lives and we fell into settling scores”, she laments. Before sounding the general mobilization: “We are going to trust collective intelligence, the common interest, to come together, to build the French sport project again, which will unite us so that we have a great party in the summer of 2024.

Let justice do its job

This role of peacemaker is not completely unknown to the forties. On October 12, 2022, the forty-five members of the CNOSF board of directors had appointed her, with 73% of the votes, to the position of general secretary to replace Didier Séminet, who had landed a month earlier, due to “deep disagreements” with Brigitte Henriques.

At the time, already, the silver medalist with the women’s foil team at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, explained that she wanted “breaking the deadlock” and bring some peace of mind to the house of French sport for “meeting the challenges of Paris 2024”.

The ex-shooter had also been part of the quartet of leaders – alongside Jean-Pierre Siutat, Michel Callot and Sébastien Poirier – formed to support the one who was still the head of the CNOSF during her withdrawal for several weeks, at fall 2022, for ” to rest “ after the deleterious episode with his former right arm. Since then, Brigitte Henriques and Didier Séminet have filed a complaint against each other, leading to the opening, at the end of March, of two investigations by the Paris prosecutor’s office, entrusted to the judicial police.