“It was a heartbreaking decision. But, given my state of health, I had no choice. I suffered from burnout in September, after the Masters, in Budapest. I couldn't train. My body failed, my head too. . . .”
Appearing on the international scene in 2006, during the cadet championship, Charline fought her last fight on August 4, 2023, during the Masters, where she lost to the Israeli Primo. During these seventeen years at the highest level, the native of Liège has built an excellent record, the highlight being her Olympic bronze medal in London 2012.
“Looking through my archive, I saw again a lot of beautiful moments that I am very proud of, as well as my list of awards. Everyone talks to me about my medal in London, but I especially remember my two European titles in a row, in 2015 and 2016, when I left Belgium myself to create my own cell in Paris and continue to perform well.”
The European junior champion in 2009, in Yerevan, Liégeoise, namely, was among the seniors twice in a row, in 2015 and 2016, titles to which should be added four medals, two silver (2012, 2013) and two bronze (2010 2020 ). But she shone on numerous occasions. Charline reached 38 international podiums.
The only flaw in this image is that her world bronze medal in 2013 in Rio was tainted by a positive test for cocaine, for which she was suspended for two years, which was cut in half by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after a long process. during which she constantly referred to her good faith.
“Then I was forced to leave Belgium. Along with my suspension, I was kicked out by the French Federation!”
Born in Liège on September 2, 1990, Charline began training judo at the age of 6 in Blegny, before her parents, Marc and Anne, founded their club, Bushido Saive, on her 8th birthday. She has always been loyal to this club, even though she moved to Paris, where she trained for ten years.
Since childhood, Charline Van Snick dreamed of the Olympic Games. They interrupted her life and career, especially the first, in London, where she fell against Brazil's Menezes, the future gold medalist, but recovered to beat Argentina's Pareto for bronze. She was less happy, four years later, in Rio. After dismissing the Romanian Ungureanu, she found Menezes, who beat her again.
After fighting in -48 kg until then, Charline decided to move to a higher category, -52 kg, at the end of 2016. Although she continued to win several Grand Slam or Grand Prix medals, she (unfortunately) did not advance beyond the European podium with bronze in 2020 in Prague.
“Each medal has its own story. It was a birth.”
“Each medal has its own story. It was a birth, from which we quickly forget the sweat and suffering to keep only the best”explains Charline looking at her… bronze Olympic medal from London 2012 that she brought with her.
With the postponement of the Tokyo Games, his desire to shine on the Olympic stage continued. In Japan, she was stopped in the quarterfinals by the Italian Guifride, then in the repechage by the British Giles. A failure from which she recovered with difficulty, she took a year and a half break before returning at the end of 2022, at the Masters. She kept her hope of participating in the Games in Paris, but the physical aspect did not follow.
If she turned the page of her sports career, Charline opened another one, quite recently, with Adepsa, her employer in sports for ten years.
“I am happy that I have always been able to count on Adeps and COIB who have supported me throughout my career. Even today I can imagine the future with the Projet de Vie cell, represented here by Étienne Drion. Therefore, I will be able to share my experience and expertise to promote sports, in general, and judo in particular. Therefore, I will be in Belgium much more often to fulfill the missions entrusted to me.”
Charline absolutely does not see this new life within the framework of the French-speaking Judo Federation, towards which she has maintained a bitter hatred. And as for putting the kimono back on, it's probably going to take some time.
“I won't be working with this sports unit, but it's not impossible that I'll see myself on the tatami again as part of my club. We'll see… In the end, I'm just at the beginning of my second life.”