2002, February the 15th : Isabelle BLANC won Olympic gold medal in snowboard final
Isabelle BLANC and Lucie LLONG with OLYMPISM painting and the gold medal
All victories are beautiful but some have a sweetest taste than others . Olympic gold has neither been a privilege, nor a due for the world’s best athletes accustomed to podiums. Indeed, world titles are often won over a season, race after race, match after match, before reaching the Grail. A win builds with work, preparation, regularity and strategy. Olympics games are different, there is no second chance to win, you have to be ready and strong on the D-Day. Such a victory is more about mental strength, a one day performance for reach the Olympus gods under world TV spotlights. In sport, nothing is written and the Olympics have experienced many outstanding surprises.
Many competitors and few elected, only 36 French athletes have won gold medals since the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
The Olympic Games universality and media coverage make this event so special and far beyond sport. For 2 weeks, Athletes become ambassadors and national symbols. Their faces, performances, words are the reflection of their country throught the world and stimulate a sense of patriotism. The Olympics create a link between people and countries. It’s an honor and the ultimate recognition for athletes representing their country at The Olympics.
Isabelle BLANC, the patience of a revanchist
Snowboarding first arrived at Nagano Olympic Games in 1998 far from the fame of other disciplines (alpine skiing, hockey, skating, etc.) and stars like Herrmann Mayer. However, France immediately distinguished itself as one of the major nations in this emerging sport. In semi-finale, Isabelle BLANC falls a few meters from the finish line leaving her rival Karine Ruby won the first Olympic gold. No doubt this episode strengthened her determination and her will to win. Four years of patience and hard-work to win in Salt Lake City Olympics.
This time, millions of televiewers followed this battle between Isabelle BLANC and Karine RUBY, defending her olympic gold medal … and a French double. A great moment of sport built on a sporting rivalry that pulled them both up and helped to develop Snowboard image wordlwide.
Isabelle BLANC win the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City on February 15, 2002 after a very engaged race. It is the victory of her passion, work and iron mind. The frenh hymn “La marseillaise” was a highly emotionnal moment celebrating this French double both in members of the french sport history.
This win was built on hard-work, 4 years of patience and her iron-mind.
She told me that “Facing her rival and defending champion in this olympic gold quest was an obvious additionnal source of motivation”.
The Olympism exhibition
Following our meeting at an exhibition where I was invited as a sport artist by a Olympic departmental committee, I created for olympic champion Isabelle BLANC, a painting to celebrate and to immortalize her victory at Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002. The words energy, speed and determination guided my brushes to design this unique artwork made on canvas for an amazing athlete.
Isabelle BLANC in a nutshell
- Olympic champion in Salt Lake City in 2002
- Double world champion (season 1999-2000 and 2001-2002)
- 3 Olympiads (1998 / 2002 /2006)
She is now a ski and snowboard instructor at the Alpes D’huez
She is also running B& B in Bourg d’Oisans (France) on the mythical Alpe d’huez route, well-known worldwide by cyclist
More information on http://www.room-to-rent-bourgdoisans.com/