Camille Muffat

Last updated
Camille Muffat
Camille Muffat.jpg
Personal information
Full nameCamille-Marie Manuella
NationalityFlag of France.svg  France
Born(1989-10-28)28 October 1989
Nice, France
Died9 March 2015(2015-03-09) (aged 25)
La Rioja, Argentina
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight71 kg (157 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, medley
ClubOlympique Nice Natation

Camille Muffat (French pronunciation:  [ka.mij myfa] ; 28 October 1989 – 9 March 2015) was a French swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist. [1]

Swimming (sport) water-based sport

Swimming is an individual or team sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke. The order for a medley relay is: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques; in competition, there are distinct regulations concerning the acceptable form for each individual stroke. There are also regulations on what types of swimsuits, caps, jewelry and injury tape that are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or knees, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

Summer Olympic Games international multi-sport event

The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad, first held in 1896, is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years. The most recent Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) organises the Games and oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, and bronze medals are awarded for third place; this tradition began in 1904. The Winter Olympic Games were created due to the success of the Summer Olympics.

Olympic medal an award given to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games

An Olympic medal is awarded to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games. There are three classes of medal: gold, awarded to the winner; silver, awarded to the 1st runner-up; and bronze, awarded to the second runner-up. The granting of awards is laid out in detail in the Olympic protocols.


Swimming out of the "Olympic Nice Natation" club, she specialised in the individual medley and the free style events. Her career expanded from 2005 to 2014.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won gold in the 400-meter freestyle, silver in the 200-meter freestyle and bronze in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. In so doing, she became the fourth French swimmer to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. She was also the third French athlete overall to win three Olympic medals at a single edition of the Olympic Games.

2012 Summer Olympics Games of the XXX Olympiad, held in London in 2012

The 2012 Summer Olympics, formally the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012 in London, United Kingdom. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, followed by the opening ceremonies on 27 July. 10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

The women's 400 metre freestyle event at the 2012 Summer Olympics took place on 29 July at the London Aquatics Centre in London, United Kingdom.

She died in the Villa Castelli helicopter collision, at age 25, during the filming of French TV reality show Dropped for the TF1 network. [2]

Dropped is a French survival reality television series that was scheduled to air on TF1 in 2015. Based on the Swedish television series Det största äventyret, the premise of the programme is to drop celebrities into a hostile environment and leave them to fend for themselves. Filming began in February 2015, but was halted in early March following a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of ten people, including three of the contestants and five of the production crew.

TF1 French television channel

TF1 is a private national French TV channel, controlled by TF1 Group, whose major share-holder is Bouygues. TF1's average market share of 24% makes it the most popular domestic network. It is also considered to be the most viewed television channel in Europe. Flagship series include CSI, The Voice and House M.D.

Early life

Born on 28 October 1989 in Nice, Camille Marie Manuella Muffat [3] was the middle child in the family, having an older sister, Chloé, and a younger brother, Quentin. Her father, Guy Muffat was a physical therapist and her mother, Laurence, was a nurse. [4]

Upon finishing high school, she pursued a degree in economics, during which time she swam under a high-performance athlete studying system. She eventually dropped out of school in order to pursue her swimming career. [4]

In France, sport-étude sections are specialised state institutions combining traditional school studies with high level sport education.


Muffat was trained as a medley swimmer who was particularly gifted in the breaststroke and crawl styles, which are the closing disciplines in the medley.

However, after a strong start to her career, her results in the medley events started to fade, and Muffat felt like she could not sustain her pace well enough to achieve her goals by swimming the medley. As a result, she changed her swimming profile, switching to the freestyle events, at the suggestion of her coach Fabrice Pellerin. [5]

Under Pellerin's guidance, Muffat dedicated herself to an extensive training programme, which included training on Sundays for a year before the 2012 Olympic Games.


Muffat first came into the spotlight in 2005, upon beating fellow Frenchwoman Laure Manaudou in the 200-metre individual medley event at the French National Championship, in Nancy, also breaking the French national record, which Manaudou also held.

Only months later, she would again win the 200-metre individual medley event at the European Junior Championships, held in Budapest, Hungary. At the European Juniors, she would also take silver in the 100-metre freestyle.

In 2006, she debuted in the senior European Championships by swimming a leg of the 4 × 100 metres freestyle relay for France. A month later, she won four medals, including one gold, at that year's World Junior Championships, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In December 2006, she attained her first international podium, at the European Short Course Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

In 2007, for the first time Muffat took part in a World Championship, held in Melbourne, Australia, reaching semifinals in the 400 m medley. At the end of the year, she had her first victory in senior competitions, by winning the 200-metre individual medley and taking bronze in the 400-metre individual medley event at the 2007 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Debrecen, Hungary.


In March 2008, Muffat won her first medal as a senior, long-course international event, by taking bronze at the 200-metre individual medley at the European Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

On the first day of the 2008 French national championships, a qualifying event for that year's Olympic Games, Muffat and Joanne Andraca tied in the 400 m individual medley (IM) in a new French record of 4:38.23. Two days later, she won gold at the 200-metre individual medley by breaking Laure Manaudou's French record. At the end of competition, Muffat had qualified for the 200- and the 400-meter individual medley events at the Olympics, and clinched a berth in the French team for the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, however, Muffat only qualified for the final of the relay, where the team finished fifth.

Later, at the 2008 European Short Course Championships, held in Rijeka, Muffat finished second in the 400-metre freestyle, bested by her countrywoman and former Olympic relay teammate, Coralie Balmy. On both the 200- and 400-metre individual medley events, she finished in fifth place.

At the 2009 French national championships, Muffat sets a new French record in the 200 m IM (2:09.34). At that year's World Championships, in Rome, she finished 7th in the 200 m individual medley final, and takes part in the French team that finishes eighth in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay final.

At the 2010 French Championship, in Saint-Raphäel, she wins both the 200 m individual medley event and the 400 m individual medley event, finishing second to Coralie Balmy in the 200 m freestyle event. At the European Championships in Budapest, Muffat arrived as the favorite to take gold at the 200 m individual medley, declaring to the press that the gold medal is her objective in that event. However, after leading the field into the third discipline of the medley, the breaststroke, she was overtaken by Hungarian Katinka Hosszú, causing Muffat to lose momentum and finish fourth in the event. On the same day, the French 4 × 200 m freestyle relay team also finishes second in the final when Muffat, who was anchoring the French relay, got overtaken by another Hungarian swimmer, Evelyn Verrasztó. Two days later, she would also finish 4th in the 200 m freestyle event, which was won by Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini.

Following her disappointing results, her coach, Fabrice Pellerin, urges Muffat to make a choice between the medley events and the freestyle events. [6] Choosing the latter, Muffat improved her results in freestyle swimming, taking first place in all distances (50 m, 100 m, 200 m and 400 m) at the following French Championships, at Chartre, where she also broke the French record in the 100 m freestyle event.

A month later, at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai, Muffat would take her first world title, by winning the 200 m freestyle event, defeating Katie Hoff of the United States and Kylie Palmer of Australia. Swimming with the French 4 × 200 m freestyle relay, she also took a bronze medal from the event.

In 2011, Muffat repeated the feat of winning all four distances (100 m, 200 m, 400 m and 800 m) at the French Championships in Strasbourg, thus also qualifying in all events for that year's World Championships, in Shanghai, China. At the World Championships Muffat took two bronze medals, in the 200 m and the 400 m freestyle events.


In March 2012, at the French Championships in Dunkerque, Muffat won the 400 m freestyle event by breaking Laure Manaudou's French record, established in 2006. Her time of 4:01:13 was the world's fastest of the year at the time, and earned her a berth in that year's Olympic Games. Two days later, Muffat would also win the 200 m freestyle event, breaking her own French record with a time of 1:54:87, thus qualifying for that event as well at the Olympic Games in London.

Muffat qualified to enter three events at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She won the gold medal in the 400 m freestyle with a new Olympic record, [7] as well as the silver medal in the 200 m freestyle event. Also, her 4 × 200 m freestyle team won the bronze medal in a time of 7:47.49. [Camille Muffat (1:55.51); Charlotte Bonnet (1:57.78); Ophélie-Cyrielle Étienne (1:58.05); Coralie Balmy (1:56.15)]. She thus equalled Laure Manaudou's 2004 Olympics achievement of one gold, one silver and one bronze, and also became only the third Frenchwoman after Micheline Ostermeyer and Manaudou to win three medals in a single summer or winter Olympic Games.

In April 2013, at the French Championships in Rennes, she won the 400 m freestyle event for a third consecutive time, while also winning the 100 m and 200 m freestyle events, which qualified her for all three events at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Her performance at the 2013 World Championships, however, were below expectations, [8] with Muffat taking home the bronze medals, in the 200 m freestyle and the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay. In her signature 400 m freestyle event, however, she finished a disappointing seventh in the final.

After the World Championships, Muffat decided to cut down on her training routine temporarily, and took a gold, a silver and a bronze at the 2013 French Short Course Championships in Dijon. At that year's European Championships, however, she failed to qualify for the 200 m freestyle final, and finished fifth in the 400 m.

At the 2014 French Championships in Chartres, a qualifying event for the 2014 European Championships, Muffat won four titles, taking gold in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m freestyle, as well as in the 100 m butterfly. She also took silver in the 50 m freestyle.

However, on July 12, 2014, before the European Championships, she announced her retirement from competitive swimming at age 24, during an interview to the French newspaper, L'Équipe. [9]


On 9 March 2015, as a part of a group of sports stars participating in the French reality TV show Dropped , Muffat was killed along with nine other people when two helicopters collided in mid-air during filming in northwestern Argentina. [10] [11] Her funeral was held in a private ceremony in the Church of St. John the Baptist, in Nice, on March 25, in a joint service with boxer Alexis Vastine, who died in the same accident. [12]

Earnings, sponsorships and accolades

Muffat's agent, Sophie Kamoun, refused to disclose details concerning the income earned by Muffat in commercial endorsements. The French newspaper Le Figaro estimated that for the year 2013, it should be close to 500,000 euros [13]

She signed a sponsorship deal with Électricité de France ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, and the French Olympic Committee also pays money prizes for athletes earning medals at the games [14]

On 1 January 2013, Muffat was made a Knight (Chevalier) of the Légion d'honneur . [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

Laure Manaudou French swimmer

Laure Manaudou is a retired French Olympic, world and European champion swimmer. She has held the world record in freestyle events between 200 and 1500 meter. She is the daughter of a French father and a Dutch mother, and she is the older sister of Florent Manaudou who is also an Olympic gold medalist swimmer.

The women's 400 metre freestyle event at the 2004 Olympic Games was contested at the Olympic Aquatic Centre of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece on August 15.

Federica Pellegrini Italian swimmer

Federica Pellegrini is an Italian swimmer. A native of Mirano, in the province of Venice, she holds the women's 200 m freestyle world record, and won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Pellegrini became the first woman ever to break the 4 minute barrier in the 400 m freestyle with a time of 3:59.15.

Novella Calligaris Italian swimmer

Novella Calligaris is a retired Italian swimmer, and the first Italian to win an Olympic medal in swimming. Her elder brother Mauro Calligaris was also an Olympic swimmer.

Marleen Veldhuis Dutch swimmer

Magdalena Johanna Maria "Marleen" Veldhuis is a retired swimmer from the Netherlands. She was world record holder in four events. Veldhuis won eight world championships gold medals and 20 European championships gold medals. In the Olympics, she won a bronze medal in London 2012 in the 50 m freestyle, as well as three relay medals: bronze in Athens 2004, gold in Beijing 2008, and silver in London 2012.

Michelle Robyn Pearson is an Australian former medley and freestyle swimmer of the 1980s, who won a bronze medal in the 200-metre individual medley at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Her versatility saw her qualify for four finals.

Éva Risztov swimmer

Éva Risztov is a Hungarian Olympic gold medal female swimmer.

Mireia Belmonte Spanish swimmer

Mireia Belmonte García is a Spanish Olympic, world, and European champion swimmer. She is the first female Olympic champion in the history of Spanish swimming and is widely considered to be the greatest Spanish swimmer of all time.

Femke Heemskerk Dutch swimmer

Frederike Johanna Maria "Femke" Heemskerk is a Dutch competitive swimmer who mainly specializes in freestyle, but also has a strong backstroke and medley.

Julia Smit American swimmer, Olympic silver medalist, world record-holder

Julia Elizabeth Smit is an American competition swimmer, two-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in two events. She has won a total of nine medals in major international competition, six golds, two silvers, and one bronze spanning the Olympics and Pan American Games.

Jérémy Stravius swimmer

Jérémy Stravius is a French swimmer, swimming freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.

Florent Manaudou French swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, world champion, former world record-holder

Florent Manaudou is a French competitive swimmer, an Olympic champion of the 50-meter freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics, and the younger brother of Laure Manaudou, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist in swimming. He currently holds the world record in the 50-meter freestyle and backstroke.

The swimming events of the 15th FINA World Aquatics Championships were held July 28 – August 4, 2013, in Barcelona, Spain. The competition was held in a long course pool inside the Palau Sant Jordi. It featured 40 LCM events, split evenly between males and females. Swimming was one of the five aquatic disciplines at the championships.

James Guy (swimmer) British swimmer

James Guy is an English competitive swimmer who has represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games, the FINA World Championships and the LEN European championships, and England in the Commonwealth Games. Guy specialises in the 200- and 400-metre freestyle, and the 100-metre butterfly. He won two World Championship gold medals in the 200-metre freestyle and 4×200-metre freestyle relay event at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. In 2016, he won silver in the 4x200m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Louise Maria Hansson is a Swedish competitive swimmer, a member of Helsingborgs SS.

Duncan William MacNaughton Scott is a British swimmer representing Great Britain at the FINA World Aquatics Championships and the Olympic Games, and Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. An all-rounder in the pool, Scott has swum internationally in 100 and 200 metres freestyle and butterly, and 200 metres individual medley. He has won two golds at the World Championships in 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay, as well as silvers at the World Championships and Olympics in freestyle and medley relay. Individually, Scott was the 100 metre freestyle champion at the 2015 European Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the 200 metre freestyle champion at the same European Games and the 2018 European Aquatics Championships.

Georgia Coates is a British swimmer who won five medals at the 2015 European Games. She has been selected to compete for Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Freya Anderson is a British swimmer. She has won two gold and two bronze medals at the European Championships, as well as two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games.


  1. Muffat's entry from
  2. "French Olympians filming reality TV survival show killed in helicopter crash in Argentina". 10 March 2015.
  3. "Decree issued by the French Government on December 31st, 2012 which cites full name". Journal officiel de la République française ( 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Article references siblings and parents (7th paragraph) and career choices (8th paragraph), in French". Libération ( 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  5. "In interview, Muffat recounts switching events at her coach's suggestion, in French". 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  6. [ permanent dead link ] from
  7. Matt Norlander (29 July 2012). "More swim records fall: Muffat in 400 free; van der Burgh in 100 breaststroke". CBS Sports.
  8. "Muffat's performance at the 2013 World Acquatics Championship falls short of expectations". Eurosport ( 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  9. Olympic Champion Camille Muffat Announces Retirement
  10. Camille Muffat, Olympic gold medallist, among 10 dead in helicopter crash
  11. French Olympians filming reality TV survival show killed in helicopter crash in Argentina. Telegraph, 10 March 2015.
  12. "Les obsèques de Camille Muffat célébrées dans l'intimité mercredi à Nice". Nice Matin. Archived from the original on 2015-03-25.
  13. from, on July 26, 2013
  14. from sur, on August 1st, 2012
  15. Légion d'Honneur: Aschieri, Muffat et Agnel dans la promo du 1er janvier Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine –
Preceded by
Alessia Filippi
Women's 800 metre freestyle
world record holder (short course)

16 November 2012 – 10 August 2013
Succeeded by
Mireia Belmonte
Preceded by
Joanne Jackson
Women's 400 metre freestyle
world record holder (short course)

24 November 2012 – 11 August 2013
Succeeded by
Mireia Belmonte
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Nikola Karabatić
(Sportsperson of the Year)
French Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Marion Bartoli