Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Elodie Lussac was a very promising French gymnast who was born in 1979. At her time, she was France's first female gymnast to compete at an international level. She was admired and considered a national hero.

Unfortunately, the talented gymnast fell victim to abuse of her coaches who put an end to what could have been a successful career.

Lussac rose to fame when competed at the 1993 junior European championships. There, she won four gold medal including the prestigious all around medal beating Russia's Svetlana Khorkina who went on to be one of the greatest gymnasts of all time.

In 1994, Lussac went to the World championships as the two time French national champion. During the podium training, she felt a severe pain in her back. She went to inform her coaches Xuan Lin and Shi Mao about it and tried to tell them she cannot compete and that she has trouble walking. They turned a blind eye and forced her to continue training. They also threatened her that if she pulled out, she will have no chance of going to the Olympic games.

She received an anti-inflammatory injections and competed at the competition. After she returned to her home country, Lussac received a diagnosis of  severe vertebral compression fractures which had her spent several months in a surgical corset.

She felt imprisoned wearing the corset and had fears of spending the rest of her life in a wheel chair.

She refused to train with Xuan Lin and Shi Mao and requested to train under Russian Sacha Zaruba but the federation did not accept it since Lin and Mao were the national coaches. She declared war on the federation and filed a lawsuit holding them the responsibility for ending her gymnastics career. 

The court held the federation responsible for pain Elodie endured following the injury she sustained during the World championships, but not for the injury itself. 

The former gymnast moved on to medical career.

See also: Elodie Ends Her Beam Routine With The Most Difficult Beam Dismount

By Gigi Farid

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