Camille Lacourt

Camille Lacourt (French pronunciation: [kamij lakuʁ]; born 22 April 1985) is a retired[2] French competitive swimmer and backstroke specialist. He won the 50 metre backstroke at three consecutive world championships (2013 Barcelona, 2015 Kazan, and 2017 Budapest). He competed at the 2012 Olympics in the 100 metre backstroke and finished fourth. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, he finished fifth in the same event.

Camille Lacourt
Personal information
National team France
Born (1985-04-22) 22 April 1985
Narbonne, France
Height2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight85 kg (187 lb)[1]
ClubCN Marseille

Swimming career

2010: breakthrough year

Lacourt collected three gold medal at the European Championships. He became European Champion in the 100 m backstroke (long course) ahead of compatriot Jérémy Stravius in a time of 52.11.[3] This time was a new European record and the second fastest time ever, second to Aaron Peirsol's 51.94 from 2009. He collected the 50 m backstroke title in a time of 24.07, also bumping him up to the second fastest performer of all time in that event. On the final night, he collected gold in the 4 × 100 m medley relay.[4]

Following years

Lacourt collected a series of medals at the World Championships in the following years: one gold and one silver in 2011 in Shanghai, two gold in 2013 in Barcelona, and one of each medal in 2015 in Kazan. He finished 4th in the 100 metre backstroke at the 2012 Summer Olympics and failed to win any medals. After missing the 2014 European Championships due to a hip injury, he won two golds at the 2016 European Championships.

Lacourt failed to win any medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Following his 5th-place finish in the 100 meter backstroke, Lacourt made international news after criticizing the sport of swimming and making disparaging, unsubstantiated remarks about Chinese swimmer Sun Yang. In a post-race interview with French radio station RMCsport, Lacourt said: "I am very sad when I see my sport getting like this. I have the impression I am looking at athletics, with two or three doped in each final. I hope that FINA is going to react and stop this massacre, because it is getting sad," and finished with "Sun Yang, he pisses purple!"[5][6] After being defeated by another Chinese swimmer, Xu Jiayu, who won the silver medal in the 100 meter backstroke, Lacourt said, "I don't like being beaten by a Chinese."[7][8]

Lacourt won his third consecutive gold medal in the 50 m backstroke at the 2017 World Championships. He then announced his retirement later in 2017.[2]

Personal life

Lacourt was married to Valérie Bègue, who won Miss France 2008. He is the father of a girl, Jazz, born in October 2012. Lacourt and Bègue divorced in 2016.[9]

Personal bests (long course)

Event Time Date
50 m backstroke24.07 NR12 August 2010
100 m backstroke52.11 ER10 August 2010
200 m backstroke2:00.577 April 2010

See also


  1. Camille Lacourt.
  2. "French Star Camille Lacourt Retires (Video)". SwimSwam. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  3. "Men's 100 m Backstroke Results" (PDF). Omega Timing. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  4. "Lacourt Leaves Gaping Gap On 24.07". 12 August 2010.
  5. "JO 2016, l'énorme colère de Lacourt sur le dopage : "Sun Yang, il pisse violet"" [2016 Olympics, the very angry Lacourt on doping: "Sun Yang, he pisses purple"]. RMCsport. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  6. "Rio 2016: Camille Lacourt joins doping criticism of Chinese star Sun Yang after 200m gold medal". ABC News (Australia). AFP. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  7. "The gold winner who 'pisses purple', according to his Olympic rival". 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  8. "Chinese champ 'pees purple' says beaten Frenchman". 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  9. "Camille Lacourt et Valérie Bègue séparés : "On est officiellement divorcés"" (in French). Retrieved 29 August 2017.
Preceded by
Paul Biedermann
European Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
Alexander Dale Oen
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