Romane Dicko fought to accept her body

5:35 PM, April 27, 2022

Without Teddy Riner, in training all over the world, nor Clarisse Agbegnenou, pregnant, the French squad for the European Judo Championships in Sofia (Bulgaria) will make way for Romane Dicko next weekend. The youngest of the girls, 22, is the interim head of the gondola after her double at the Tokyo Olympics: individual bronze and team gold. Every now and then she takes a satisfied look at her souvenir album from Japan. But a few years ago, the images of herself did not please her. “As a teenager I felt huge”she says about this body “too big, too wide, too heavy”† Fixed at 1.81 meters and at least 78 kilos.

The first stages soften her view on herself

In the class photos, Romane “the impression of spots”† She wore shapeless clothes to hide her belly and arms. Her friends then “smaller and lighter”, were benevolent. Only she judged herself severely, badly influenced by social networks. “I had many complexes to compare myself to others”, the Francilienne rewinds. On Instagram, she discovers a world that is nothing like her and wonders if she is normal. “It was only six or seven years ago, but we still couldn’t find a physique that was far from a certain normalcy”she’s sorry.

How can I not accept this body that lets me win?

Sports changed everything. In the center of Espoir de Brétigny (Essonne) she first encountered other muscular bodies. Before observing, within the walls of Insep (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance), the extraordinary morphologies “basketball players, shot putters, wrestlers”† The judoka finally feels reassured ” just like everyone “† The first podiums, from the age of 16, softened her view of herself: “How can I not accept this body that lets me win? † And, winning, it quickly becomes a habit for the one we compare to Riner, for the earliness and especially the size of the envelope. Destinations linked, until the common conquest of the Olympic Grail last summer.

They also share the PSG kimono all year round. Her oldest, not the last to juggle diets, she finds him “big and tough”† Though a heavy, for evil-speakers, “It’s a girl who ate too much”† Despite Émilie Andéol’s stunning victory at the Rio Games, “the +78 kg category is despised, as if our weight is synonymous with letting go”, the heiress is moved. Perhaps because the top category (+ 100 kilos for men) is the only one without a ceiling that must be respected. “In theory we could afford some deviations, but with 5 kilos more I wouldn’t be as efficient anymore”denies the European champion of 2020.

Young internet users thank her

In the girls’ dressing room, the body is the timeless topic of conversation. “When I see a super fresh 58kg, with abs, I wonder how complex it could be. But we all have something, puts Romane Dicko into perspective, who has been daring to post images in swimsuits for a few months now. Without retouching or advantageous pose. Hiding a role would be like lying to little girls, she explains very seriously. Young internet users sometimes thank her for the sincerity of her approach.

Cellulite is normal

It has a name: the “body positivism”† This recently appeared tendency was missed by Romane Dicko during her youth. “We’ve idealized slim silhouettes for a long time. But cellulite is normal. † So today, if his photos took complexes away from even a teenager, “it would already be a win”† His leitmotif as a connected millennial: “You have to see everything. † Acceptance remains a daily task, performed with a mental trainer.

At university, where she studies mathematics to become an aeronautical engineer, her large body does not go unnoticed. “My muscular arms under the tank top attract angry looks”, she smiles. But she immediately indicates that the tracksuits, worn in the amphitheater to save time before going to the dojo, are definitely there for something. Romane Dicko has nothing to hide anymore.