Athletics / Murielle Ahouré: "I will be there in 2022 ..."

Ivorian Murielle Ahouré, world indoor 60m champion, on March 2, 2018 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Hannah McKay / Reuters

Text by: Christophe Jousset Follow

7 min

The year 2020 will have been strange for Murielle Ahouré.

Almost no race for the 60-meter indoor world champion.

And especially not the Tokyo Games where the 33-year-old Ivorian made the major objective of her season, the dream of an Olympic medal.

But Murielle Ahouré did not waste her time.

She has just been appointed this week as Unicef ​​Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire, in the continuity of the work for children that she had already started by launching her Foundation four years ago.


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Murielle Ahouré, you have just been appointed Ambassador of Unicef ​​in Côte d'Ivoire.

Tell us the meaning of this appointment for you


It is a great honor to be appointed Ambassador of Unicef ​​in Côte d'Ivoire.

I am committed to promoting the rights of children and girls so that they can be protected, and to encourage a partnership between the Ministry of Education and that of Sports.

Facilitate sport and education for young girls in Côte d'Ivoire.

Is it something that completes a job since the foundation you created four years ago is partly dedicated to children



It is a cause that is very dear to me.

I am not going to run all my life and I must be able to help the next generation, the next generation.

There are so many girls who want to play sports, to reach the top level, but they don't have the means, they don't know how to do it.

There is no infrastructure, there is not much for them.

Through my sponsors, the partnership that I signed with Unicef, the partnership between the Ministry of Sports and that of Education, we can do something very concrete like sports-studies.

You have said for a long time that working for children is what matters most to you.

Where does this vocation come from


It really comes from my mother.

She taught me the first lessons of life, love of neighbor, solidarity, giving of oneself.

I thank my mother very much for inspiring me with this love for children.

You are planning on the post-career but you are still active.

The season has been turned upside down this year by the health crisis.

How did you live this year


It's a very difficult year for me and I think it's the same for all athletes.

We were all upset, shocked.

I also live in the United States, in Miami, one of the cities most affected by the Covid.

We were confined for months, we couldn't train, we were scared.

Now the most important thing is that life goes on, there are fewer cases, and I took my first plane trip since the start of the crisis, and it went well.

Since February, I had not been able to travel, today I returned to Ivory Coast in October.

We imagine that you were thinking of going to the indoor world championships in Nanjing in March 2020 (Editor's note: postponed to March 2021) to defend your title of world champion in 60m ...

Oh no !

I was not going to do the indoor world championships.

I was just planning to do two indoor races to keep myself going, but I was really focused on the Tokyo Olympics.

I ran very little, but it's a year to get back in shape, to work more on things that I miss.

I had a few minor injuries last year, so the goal was to deal with the injuries, to put more strength in my legs.

When the postponement of the Olympic Games was announced, a sportswoman like Clarisse Agbegnenou (French judokate) confessed to having cried.

Many athletes have announced a kind of demobilization, that they did not want to train at all.

Was that your case


After the postponement, we all cried, we all got depressed.

Me, I spent a few days in bed, it was not going too well.

After all, whatever God does is good.

There is a reason for this delay.

Of course, I was affected by that, it was sad but with the help of my coach, my manager, my family, I put things into perspective and I understood that there were other things in life. .

So, I decided to take this year to prepare myself even better, it also gives the opportunity to work on something else.

It's only postponed, it's not like it's canceled.

You turned 33 this year, isn't the postponement of the Olympics for one year more complicated for you than for the next generation


Not for me.

I have a very good team around me: my trainer, my doctor, my physiotherapist, my masseurs, etc., we know how to prepare, we know how to be ready next year.

There will be the Olympic Games, we hope that all will go well with the Covid, we hope to be able to compete, travel.

Because we who live in the United States cannot enter Europe to do our treatments, for example.

It's a little stressful.

So, I hope that in the coming months something will change.

If we can find a vaccine, we can travel, so it won't be too stressful.

I have been tested three times for the Covid.

I was still negative, so it's okay.

Next year, is it only the Games or is it possible that, if the program goes normally, we will see you at the indoor worlds, at the African championships


At the African championships, yes, at the indoor worlds, I don't know.

I can't say yes.

It all depends on the Covid situation.

Is Tokyo in your head every day now


Of course !

I think about this every day.

Every morning and every evening.

I see the opening ceremony, the 100m race, the 200m race.

I will be doing the 100 and the 200, so I can't wait to line up and represent Côte d'Ivoire.

Beyond 2021, there are the Eugène Worlds in 2022 in the United States where you live.

Do you plan to go that far


Absolutely, I will be there.

After 2022, I will see.

But for now, the focus is on 2021, and 2022. If possible with a turn on the podium at the Olympics…


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