They drank blows, took advantage of the pond to fish, reconnected with their young dismissed workers who were somewhat lost from sight with confinement. For the leaders of the Judo 61 Alliance, this end-of-year course scheduled this weekend in the Ecouves forest, north of Alençon (Orne) allowed to restore some links between sportsmen of a discipline still impossible to practice normally, health context requires. “We redid the world on Saturday evening, it was nice, breaths one of the coaches, Frédéric Remars. And there, Sunday morning ... Nobody wanted to believe it. "
Upon awakening, the club office, like a very large part of France, learned of the death of Constable Mélanie Lemée. The evening before, the 25-year-old soldier and her colleagues tried to stop a driver who refused to stop in Port-Sainte-Marie (Lot-et-Garonne). The driver swerved to avoid the harrow of the police. And broke the young woman who did not survive her injuries. According to a source familiar with the matter, his funeral will take place on Thursday.
"It is the first time that she makes us cry, breath, tight voice, the president of the departmental judo committee, Michel Ménardon. She gave us crazy fishing, it was a pleasure to travel to the competitions with her. "
"Outstanding physical capacities"
At AJ 61, we quickly caught on to this judokate, who came to the tatami mats at the age of 4 in her hometown of La Ferté-Macé. "We brought her in around 10-11 years old so that she could cross a level with us," recalls club president Tony Rouxel. It was the little bit beefy with a mat, it had to be made a sport. She had extraordinary physical capacities and she learned to use them. "
"We were afraid of facing him," smiles Clémence Corbeau, a judokate from the department, now president of the Judo club in Fertois. When she took care and grabbed the kimono, we knew it was going to stir and we were going to have a complicated time (laughs) . "
Abilities that brought him to the hope pole of Caen and then to Insep in 2014, in the wake of a bronze medal at the French Junior Championships. But his dream of a career at the highest level collapsed with an injury to the cruciate ligaments of one knee. This force of nature - 1.80 m per 100 kg - fails.
"The army gave him his foot in the stirrup"
"It was complicated right after this episode," describes Tony Rouxel. At the French Championships in Lyon in 2015, she cried before fighting because she was afraid of getting injured again. "At this age, an injury of this importance is too penalizing in a career," said Major Fabrice Guilley, coach of the French military judo team. This is why she embarked on a career in the gendarmerie and that I was able to recover her on the team. The army set foot in the stirrup again. "
Four times, she won the national title of her category in the military, and offered herself a bronze medal at the European and World Championships in 2016. The year she joined the local brigade of Aiguillon in the Lot-et-Garonne. "I have zero regrets about my previous life," she explains to Ouest-France in 2017. I gained maturity with this episode. "
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Her life, she shared it between her place of employment and her native Normandy, where she wished to be affected according to certain relatives. "She became the vice-president of the club (de La Ferté-Macé) and got involved despite the distance by taking time off to attend tournaments or lotto," points out Cécile Corbeau. We were always stressed by the events we were organizing, but Mélanie arrived with a big smile and said to us: Relax, everything will be fine . "
Sunday morning, Major Fabrice Guilley saw the face of the one who affectionately called him "Grandpa", to underline their forty years of difference, appear on the news channels. Tributes poured in: the newly appointed Prime Minister Jean Castex, the legend of his sport Teddy Riner, friends of the Tulle gendarmerie school and friends from Normandy.
Thoughts for Mélanie Lemée, her family and loved ones 🙏🏾🙏🏾
Young judokate and gendarme, she died yesterday in the exercise of her functions 😔 pic.twitter.com/3yF32VIh5I
"We created an online group to exchange our photos and memories of her," said the soldier. It feels good to see that we are thinking of Mélanie. His death so young, in this way ... It's unnatural, it fucks hatred. "She had a blast in this life, loose Frédéric Remars. She returned to Normandy a fortnight ago and saw my son. She was fulfilled, wanted to thank the club for all that he had done for her after her injury. We consoled her and, out of modesty, she didn't tell us that right away. There she was ready to tell me opposite. "