Estelle Yoka Mossely.
Loic VENANCE / AFP
Estelle Yoka-Mossely returns to the ring on Friday night in Nantes to defend her IBO lightweight title against German Verena Kaiser.
The 28-year-old French boxer talks for
20 Minutes about
her personal life and her wishes for the post-career.
She also explains the aid and support system for high-level female athletes that she is going to put in place.
She lives at full speed, even when she calls.
Estelle Yoka-Mossely (28) gave a long interview to
on her life, her future and especially her commitments.
The flow of the French boxer is fast, and sometimes inaudible when a howl of sirens resounds in the street in which one imagines her hastening the step.
The one who was gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 has just returned from the United States where she spent a month and a half to prepare for the defense of her IBO lightweight title against the German Kaiser, which will take place , Friday evening, at the H Arena in Nantes.
Focused on this duel more than on the Tokyo Olympics, in which she will not participate, this young mother in a hurry remains attentive to high-level sportswomen, to whom she absolutely wishes to bring her expertise and experience of the world. 'elite.
You come home a month and a half away from your children, who are still young (4 years old and barely 1 year old).
Isn't that too hard?
It was the first time that I left the children.
I found it beneficial to isolate myself as a sportswoman, but it's not easy, and it's easy for anyone not to see their children for that long anyway.
Afterwards, these are not unnecessary sacrifices.
I trained without asking myself any questions, telling myself that the faster the time passed, the faster I would come back to see them.
Do you feel like a mom like any other?
No, I don't think I'm a mom like any other.
I still have a particular rhythm.
In fact, it is the family that is organized around high level sport, but I remain nevertheless a mother like any other attentive to the needs of education, to the demands of my children etc.
You postponed the interview for half an hour because of a jog.
There, we hear that you are walking in the street, you are hyperactive, right?
Yes, I need to do a lot of things.
I've always been like that.
When I was younger, I played sports, studied and had professional projects in mind, and now I have the life of a mother.
It's a rhythm I've always had.
I have a lot of commitments and I feel that now is the time to keep them because it is now that it has the most impact.
Now is the time people are watching me and seeing my performances.
As long as I can do all of this, I do.
Where does this need to be so busy come from?
My parents gave a lot of their time too.
Today, I am a successful person who has a good life so why not give to others.
I have a great strength of character.
I don't want to live with regrets so that's why I'm doing all of this right now.
You have become a powerful voice in women's sport.
Why was it so important to you?
Already I wanted to do something for sport.
After the Rio Olympics, I saw that there was a lot of enthusiasm around me and I said to myself that it would be a shame to let that go.
I also focused on what I know, which is the high level for an athlete.
People do not necessarily see the side effects and the times when it is difficult.
I wanted to talk about all this.
Do you want to go into politics one day?
I wouldn't mind, but it's not on the agenda because I couldn't do it all at once.
If I do things, it's to be the best.
Being in an authority or a ministry requires a great commitment.
I don't want to do this just as an extra.
I want to master the subjects and know what I'm talking about.
We will see what the future holds for me.
I know, however, that when you want to make things happen, you have to be in politics.
At the Paris Olympics in 2024, will you be an athlete or a politician, then?
(Laughs) It will be the sportswoman.
I asked myself the question, but I don't really ask myself anymore because we are approaching it there.
Just after my second child, I admit that I imagined myself more in the shoes of a politician than an athlete.
Today, I am coming back in force after my two pregnancies.
The goal is beautiful in 2024, it is an Olympic double.
I like big challenges.
If I do the Games, it is to win, and not just to appear in them.
In 2017, you created the LPERF association.
On the one hand, there is the “Boxing prejudices” axis reserved for young people, and on the other, assistance for high-level women athletes that you are going to put in place.
Can you explain this second axis to us?
I realized with my years of experience that some issues were not addressed for women.
In this system, there is a medico-legal pole which deals with somewhat taboo things that women do not want to talk about (hormonal change, abortion, moral and sexual harassment etc.) because it is an environment closed where it is often performance that takes precedence.
There is a second pole in connection with maternity to support high-level sportswomen in their process of becoming pregnant (pregnancy, sabbatical year, etc.).
And a third pole: professional retraining.
To help the athlete achieve key functions in federations.
I realize that high performance sport is supervised a lot by men while some subjects are difficult to broach with male coaches.
Is sexual violence in top-level sport still a taboo subject, after the wave of revelations caused by the testimony of Sarah Abitbol?
We will look into that.
The athletes will be free to tell us about it.
In my opinion, it's good to be able to talk to people who are outside the forum.
I know a little the atmosphere of the federations and the teams of France.
It is often preferred that problems be resolved internally.
Don't talk about it and don't make too much noise.
On December 3, 2019, in Paris, interview with Olympic and world boxing champion Estelle Mossely at Kedge Business School before a conference.
- Olivier Juszczak / 20 Minutes
Is it still the law of silence?
Yes, of course, if we want to continue to perform and be a champion, the most logical thing is to shut up and act as if nothing had happened because behind it is either us or someone others immediately in our place.
We are going to test this device.
It may help to know that we are not linked to a federation, that we are independent of the authorities.
Have you ever had alerts about this?
I didn't have any alerts, but I saw things when I was in high performance sport.
Honestly, women don't speak because they don't want to lose their place.
They have often made so many sacrifices to get there.
Denouncing these things becomes something secondary for them.
Is that why the facts are often denounced
This is why many athletes denounce rather after yes.
Me, I have never been a victim, but it exists, we must not lie to each other.
Not to offer it in our system would be a mistake.
Professional secrecy will be respected.
The athlete will confide in a doctor who is better able to act and advise.
Feeling supported and listened to is a first step in being able to act, and undoubtedly act sooner.
For boxer Estelle Mossely, "being efficient is the easiest way" to integrate into a world of men.
Boxing: Estelle Mossely world champion (IBO) lightweight