I’m terribly saddened by the news of the death of Camille Muffat and 9 other people. It’s extremely upsetting and just awful news. I’m thinking of all of their family and friends.
I first properly met Camille back in 2011 at the World Championships in Shanghai. I had come across her before then but our paths never fully crossed until we came head to head in the 400m freestyle. I got the silver and Camille got the bronze. The language barrier is always difficult when meeting other athletes from around the world. However, Camille was very friendly and we congratulated each other. When you finish your race you get taken to a room where you wait for your podium presentation. At this time there was just the 3 of us – myself, Camille and Federica Pellegrini (the winner) all together. We were all very relaxed, hugging each other and laughing together. Back in 2011, I knew after this that she would be a great competitor and challenger. She was an extremely tough racer and I knew she would be there in London fighting for that top spot.
When the London Olympics came around I was right. She was a force to be reckoned with. She was extremely focused and driven to succeed which showed when she won the Gold medal in the 400m freestyle where I got the bronze. Of course every athlete who wins a Gold medal at the Olympics is on cloud nine, but I could tell with Camille how much it meant to her. She couldn’t stop smiling and when I wished her good luck for her 200m later in the week she smiled and just said it didn’t matter anymore as her dream had come true. She literally didn’t ever want that moment to end. She congratulated me and Alison who got the silver. She was always so genuine and gracious.
Camille was only a year younger than myself, she was only 25. She was very inspiring, a tough competitor, extremely talented and friendly person. She will be missed by many. My thoughts are with everyone who knew her at this terrible time.
RIP. Becky x