It’s a blow for Nathalie Péchalat. On Saturday June 25, the former European ice dancing champion was beaten for the presidency of the Ice Sports Federation (FFSG), a position she had held since 2020. Novice candidate, Gwenaëlle Noury won the election with 52.3% of the vote, against 47.7% for the outgoing president.
A defeat that the interested party described as “interstellar shame for all ice sports”. Nathalie Péchalat had assured in recent days that her competitor, Gwenaëlle Noury, was remotely controlled by the former president of the FFSG Didier Gailhaguet. The latter had resigned in the spring of 2020, accused of covering up a trainer implicated in rape and sexual assault. “We are coming back to another system of values, to another functioning, to other methods which are not mine”, she reacted, moved, to some journalists.
Asked if she feared the return of Didier Gailhaguet, the ex-skater replied: “Yes, I’m afraid, but that doesn’t concern me anymore. For Nathalie Péchalat, double European champion in ice dancing, this result is “a humiliation for the work carried out for two years and God knows that it has been complicated and intense, in terms of energy and time. “I have known for several weeks that it was going to be tight, I was confident in human nature, common sense, the discernment of each of the voters,” she added. “Me, making promises to get elected is not how I work. Asked if she was going to stay with the FFSG, she replied that she “didn’t have time to think”.
Closed to the media, the general assembly at the headquarters of the French National Olympic Sports Committee (CNOSF) ended in a certain hubbub and confusion. Despite requests from several media, Gwenaelle Noury had not expressed herself anywhere in the press. For his part, Didier Gailhaguet defended himself from wanting to influence the election. “I have nothing to say, I left federal life […] I am not a candidate for anything,” he assured the Sunday newspaper.
Didier Gailhaguet had reigned over the rinks almost continuously for more than two decades. But after the explosion caused by accusations of sexual violence in sport, his sixth term suddenly ended in 2020. Barely elected, the new federal team led by Nathalie Péchalat had new statutes passed, limiting the number of mandates and making him de facto ineligible for the post of president. In a tweet, the new Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, wished “full success to the new president”, before adding: “The fight for the freedom of speech of the victims and the fight against sexual violence, driven by Nathalie Péchalat, should be continued. »