Congratulations to Juliette Vauchez from France, IWGA Athlete of the Month for April 2022.
The 24-year-old Wushu fighter is a European champion and the first woman from France taking part in the Wushu competitions at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, USA. Juliette Vauchez will compete in the discipline talou Chángquán, also known as “long fist”.
On 13th July in the Bill Battle Coliseum of Birmingham-Southern College, the Frenchwoman will compete against her rivals from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Peoples Republic of China and Indonesia. Juliette Vauchezis assured of strong support: her husband Benoist Denolle has also qualified for The World Games. He is competing in the Wushu Medal event Jianshu, Qiangshu All-round. Whether he will find time to cheer her on remains to be seen; Benoist Denolle is competing for a medal on the same day. The two have been married since the summer of 2021.
The International Wushu Federation has nominated Juliette Vauchez for the IWGA athlete award in April. One reason was that the Bordeaux athlete has qualified for the Birmingham Games this month. Another reason, presented by her federation’s Media Manager Alice Liu, reads like this: she is “one of the most popular competitors on the international Wushu circuit. Her strong work ethic, soulful performance, heartfelt sportsmanship, and deeply reflective philosophical approach to Wushu demonstrates how abiding passion for one’s sport can truly change the life of a person forever.”
Juliette Vauchez first discovered Wushu in 2003, thanks to her father who loved martial arts and had a friend practicing Wushu in a club in Bordeaux. He suggested to Juliette, who was six at the time, that she try out Wushu with his friend’s daughter. “When I started I was mainly inspired by my teachers, Mulan and Karate Kid movies,” she says. “Later she started competing and then teaching. And she became an ambassador for her sport, which is not very well known in France. She says:
“We are trying to make this sport grow in the city, so we actually teach in two clubs, and in four different sport centres, in order to reach more people!”
Having in mind that she is married to a Wushu athlete, she does not exaggerate when she claims “Wushu is really a story that covers all my life!” The next chapter will be written in Birmingham, Alabama on 13th July.
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