Suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, Olivet rower Florent Coqueugniot sails against the tide

From the height of his nineteen years, Florent Coqueugniot appears to be an ordinary young man. Lean physique and perfect eloquence, we cannot imagine that he is living with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism without mental deficit.
I often say I’m badly wired but I want to show that we can be successful by being different“, Olivetain says, with humor.

A sport that allows him to thrive

Seven days a week he practices rowing on the Loiret: a sport that allows him to flourish. In his discipline, Florent accumulates rewards. Since his birth seven years ago, the top athlete has already won fourteen competing titles (ten French championships, two European and two world championships), sometimes alone, sometimes as a team. Some were gleaned on bodies of water and others indoors on a rowing machine.

Olivetain Florent Coqueugniot wins two titles as French champion in adapted rowing … at a distance!

Receive the free newsletter every Thursday “The Rep ‘takes care of you “to know everything about health in the Loiret

NL {“path”: “mini-registration”, “id”: “RC_Sante”, “accessCode”: “14121339”, “allowGCS”: “true”, “bodyClass”: “ripo_generic”, “contextLevel”: “KEEP_ALL “,” filterMotsCles “:” 6 | 10 | 97 | 17099 “,” gabarit “:” generic “,” hasEssentiel “:” true “,” idArticle “:” 4121339 “,” idArticlesList “:” 4121339 “,” idDepartement “:” 264 “,” idZone “:” 22115 “,” motsCles “:” 6 | 10 | 97 | 17099 “,” premium “:” true “,” pubs “:” banniere_haute | article “,” site “: “RC”, “sousDomain”: “www”, “tagsArticle”: “# handicap”, “urlTitle”: “reached-by-asperger-le-rower-d-olivet-florent-coqueugniot-navigue-syndrome against a current “}

“I don’t train to win but to limit the risk of defeat. I experience this sport above all as a revenge“, He specifies, with his latest French champion medal around his neck, obtained this month, in Cazaubon (Gers).

Looking back … In 2015 he was diagnosed with a disability and was forced to leave the school system. “At school, Asperger’s autism is disturbing. National education didn’t help me.

Then comes the time for classes at home and a period of depression, with no social ties. As a teenager he watched the rowers pass under the window of his house, located on the banks of the Loiret. He therefore chose to pursue his discipline as a hobby, before “falling in love” with competitions.

“Can’t live without sports. When you go on vacation, you need to choose a place near a rowing club otherwise he doesn’t want to leave. “

Maryline (His mother)

Course coordination

In his club he joins all the athletes and, in competitions, he sometimes also challenges able-bodied athletes. Invested in the transmission of his knowledge, Florent coordinates the workshops with the schoolchildren with his trainer, Yoann Le Gac. He has the characteristics of him but at the club we ignore its peculiarities. He is treated like everyone else“, Assures the coach of the Aviron Club Orleans-Olivet.

However, his disability prevents him from teaching lessons without a tutor, even though he would have liked to have become a sports educator. “Florent doesn’t go to school today because he cannot devote himself completely to sports and school. I hope that she will be able to receive training in the future ”, continues the mother.

The difficulty of living off your passion

Because the young champion knows, rowing is difficult. “Professional rowers are paid 800 euros a month. My only chance would be to find sponsors.” For a long time Olivetain hoped to be able to compete in the Paris Paralympic Games in 2024, but adapted sport should be little or not represented there.

Adding an adapted sporting event automatically deletes a disabled event. So it’s hard for us. Hope to do well in Global games (adapted sports olympic games) which will be organized in Vichy, in June 2023 “.

The absence of a physical handicap, however, suggests he could compete in the Olympic Games, but his coach refuses. “He has two legs and two arms that work perfectly. But his opponent handling, intensity and effort are different from normal athletes. Mentally, physical exertion tires him more than others“, explains Yoann Le Gac. Whatever, rower Florent Coqueugniot will continue to dream and sail against the tide to take revenge on life and change his mentality.

Three questions on the new sports-health center in Gien, inaugurated in March

Nicola Bonton

Leave a Comment