The Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, a “good student” already under pressure

After the chaos, as in his old life, he had to go online. The Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, is being pushed to the forefront since the fiasco of organizing the grand final of European football on Saturday evening in Saint-Denis. “With the Minister of the Interior, we deplore the incidents that marked the evening of the Champions League on Saturday evening at the Stade de France and we regret that some fans with tickets could not attend the match,” he explained soberly at – in a statement issued on Sunday.

The extennista has tried to give more answers to RTL this Monday morning, before gathering party organizers, police and local authorities in his ministry to “learn lessons” from Saturday’s disaster. A press conference in peace, like a baptism of fire, for which only a few days ago entered the media-political scene. The Minister was also very helpful in responding in English to the British journalists present, under the watchful eye of her colleague from the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.

“She’s the girl who does everything right, who thinks well, but never gets out of the way.”

Ahead of her first Cabinet meeting last Monday, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra revealed on Twitter her daily sports session to stay up to date. A bit of cycling and some crunches. “Start the day with thirty minutes of exercise – good for body and mind! », she said. A look at his previous life as a high level athlete. On the court, the Paris-born young player won three French championship titles between 1990 and 1996, a world title in 1992, and reached the semifinals of three junior Grand Slams, including one at Roland-Garros.

Before leaving it all in June 1996, at just 18 years old. He would later say that he did not want to “sacrifice” his professional life, probably also aware that he could never reach the heights of world tennis (his best ranking was number 18 in France and number 251 in the WTA). After a final defeat, in doubles with the champion Amélie Mauresmo, the other Amélie decides to tick all the boxes of the course macronie honorum: Sciences po, Essec and Ena in the famous promo of Senghor (2002-04), where she rubs with a certain Emmanuel Macron. Some describe a student as “solar and enthusiastic,” while others are more critical. “She is the prototype of the good student, very hardworking, the kind who has the messages ‘be better’ glued to her desk. She is the girl who does everything right, who thinks well, but never deviates. An ambitious woman that it is not political, that it is odorless and tasteless ”, says one of his former colleagues.

“At the French tennis federation, everyone will tell you it’s exceptional”

After several years in the Court of Auditors, she worked in the private sector, mainly with the insurer Axa, then Carrefour as director of e-commerce. He then returned to the sport, gravitating in circles of reflection, never staying away from the political world. He founded the association Rénovons le sport français in 2016, to promote ethical issues and “sport for all”, and then unsuccessfully ran for the general direction of the organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. in the Tennis Federation in March 2021, after the election. of Gilles Moretton as head, and quickly became essential.

“Everyone at the FFT will tell you that she is exceptional, that she was a Stakhanovite, that she doesn’t stop working and that she completely masters her files, it’s true. But everyone also knows that many decisions were made according to the political line of Emmanuel Macron “, breathes a good connoisseur of the federation. Because the former tennis player has maintained ties with her former classmate. In mid-June 2021, she was the one who obtained a 23-hour curfew from Elisi and Matignon so that spectators could see the endless duel between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the middle until the end. of Roland-Garros.

“He has absolutely crazy baggage, but he doesn’t know how to handle the unexpected”

In 2017, the ambitious enarque had already tried to push its pawns to get the ministry and launch their ideas, making sport “an engine of social inclusion”, in vain. “I was not a well-known sportswoman, nor of the diversity, I did not tick any box”, he justifies without arguing with the Point. “Besides, I was the wife of a banker. Our time is so strange that it would certainly have given ammunition to those who see evil everywhere. ” Five years later, after working for months on the President-Candidate’s Sports program, he gets satisfaction. At the helm of Société Générale for 14 years, his spouse Frédéric Oudéa took it upon himself to indicate that he will not be a candidate for his succession in 2023, at the end of his term. “She is fast-paced, smart and knows how to surround herself,” a sports executive told AFP after her appointment. Its main mission for the coming months: to prepare and embody the Olympic Games scheduled for Paris in 2024.

“Amelie is a woman with an absolutely crazy background, but also someone who doesn’t know how to handle the unexpected,” says a close friend of the FFT. She is very strong when she masters everything, when she anticipates everything and it is she who will give impetus. But as soon as something imponderable happens, it gets complicated. So I’m not surprised what’s been going on since Saturday. ” Liverpool for having “released his fans”.

He also tried to reassure that France was “capable of hosting big sporting events” before the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympics. For its second week in the ministry, the minister will find out the joys of being cooked by senators. on Wednesday, during a special hearing, in the company of Gerald Darmanin.

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