In her late 20s, when she was forced to stop running owing to a foot deformity, Marie Patouillet resorted to para-cycling as a new method of performing when she was forced to give up running.
After winning the global championship in the road race for para-cycling in 2018, the Frenchwoman, age 35, took home two bronze medals from the track competition at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. She appears likely to compete in the para-cycling road race event at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
However, sport is also a platform for Patouillet, who is also an activist for homosexual rights, to raise awareness against prejudice of any kind, regardless of whether it is based on gender, sexual orientation, or handicap.
“Anyone may participate in sports and even dream of competing at a high level. In addition to that, I also want to demonstrate that we can make changes,” the athlete, who was named the Sporting Personality of the Year by the LGBT publication Tetu in France, told Reuters.
Patouillet, a general practitioner who put her medical career on hold with the Olympics in sight, carefully selects sponsors to ensure they align with her views. One such sponsor is the French sports equipment retailer Decathlon, well-known in France for taking a progressive stance on various issues. Patouillet is also known for regularly speaking out against discriminatory practices.
A banner that says “Dykes are family” may be found hanging in the flat she shares in Paris with her spouse. I am accompanied by every one of my sisters.
She participated in the 2022 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships; she dyed her hair in various rainbow colors to start a dialogue about LGBTQIA+ rights.
“Athletes whose active vows to fight against prejudice affected me, most of whom are Anglo-Saxon. She stated that it is still difficult to find athletes in France willing to take a stance on these issues.
I have high hopes that the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 will either pave the way for athletes to speak out on controversial issues or at least provide them with the chance to do so and that after those games, adjustments will be made to the situation.