FRANCE (OCN) — Sexually explicit photos of French Olympic swimmer Laure Manaudou have surfaced after her very public break-up with Italian swimmer Luca Marin.
Manaudou currently holds the world records for the 400 m freestyle (Short Course) and 200 m freestyle (Long Course).
She won the gold medal in the women’s 400 m freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. It was France’s first ever gold medal in women’s swimming and the first swimming gold medal won by a French man or woman since Jean Boiteux’s triumph in the 400 m men’s freestyle event in Helsinki in 1952.
Manaudou won the silver medal in the women’s 800 m freestyle at the same Olympics. In that race, she had a quick start but was passed down the stretch by Ai Shibata from Japan. She took the bronze medal at the women’s 100 m backstroke, becoming only the second Frenchwoman to win three medals in a single Summer or Winter Olympic Games. The first was track and field athlete Micheline Ostermeyer in London in 1948.
She is currently tied for second (three medals altogether) on the all-time list of French multiple female Winter or Summer Olympic medal winners along with Micheline Ostermeyer, Marielle Goitschel, Pascale Trinquet-Hachin, Perrine Pelen, Anne Briand-Bouthiaux, Marie-José Pérec, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli and Félicia Ballanger. The all-time leader is the fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic, who has five Olympic medals.
She won three gold medals at the 2004 European Swimming Championships in Madrid for the 100 m backstroke, 400 m freestyle, and the 4×100 m team medley.
On July 24, 2005 at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, Canada Manaudou won the women’s 400 m freestyle. Manaudou was under world record pace for the first half of the race. In the second half of the race, Manaudou was challenged by Shibata, her rival from the Olympics. Pundits were already predicting that Manaudou would eventually eclipse the world-record mark in the 400 m freestyle set by Janet Evans at the 1988 Summer Olympics. This would happen on May 12, 2006, as she broke Evans’s world record of 4:03.85 during the final of the French championship in Tours with the time of 4:03.03.
On August 6, 2006, on the final day of the 2006 European Swimming Championships in Budapest, she broke her own world record with a time of 4:02:13 in winning the 400 m freestyle title. She also won the 800 m freestyle (in European record time), 200 m individual medley and 100 m backstroke titles. In addition, she obtained the bronze medal in the 200 m freestyle, 4×200 m team freestyle and 4×100 m team medley. With her four titles, she equalled the record of the number of individual titles won in the same European swimming championships held by East Germany’s Ute Geweniger (1981) and Hungary’s Krisztina Egerszegi (1993).
She broke the 200 m freestyle world record at the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne in winning the final. She also won the 400 m freestyle event, obtained a silver for the 100 m backstroke and the 800 m freestyle, and a bronze for 4×200 m freestyle relay. She was leading the race in the 800 m final going into the last lap, but the American Kate Ziegler finally overtook her in the last metres to win by a margin of 28 cm. She was thus prevented from becoming the first female swimmer to win the 200 m, 400 m and 800 m freestyle titles at the same World Championships.
The Paris Match weekly magazine did a cover story of Manaudou in its April 5-11 issue.
From 2001-2007, Manaudou was coached by Philippe Lucas. She competed for the Melun-Dammarie club until 2006, when she moved to Le Canet en Roussillon.
On May 9, 2007, she announced at a press conference at the Canet en Roussillon swim club that she was leaving her coach Philippe Lucas to move to Italy and to train with the club Lapresse Nuoto, located in Turin. She added, however, that she would continue to swim for France.
On August 6 it was reported the World and Olympic titlist had been removed from her Italian-based team. The split is said to have been triggered by a fallout between Manaudou and LaPresse Nuoto club chief executive Paolo Penso. Penso is believed to have questioned Manaudou’s attitude to training (Reuters/L’Equipe).
She won 4 medals in the European Championships of 2007, even if the manifestation was characterized by the continuous fights between her and her Italian ex-boyfriend Luca Marin.
The same day, lewd pictures of Laure Manaudou started to propagate on the Internet. Luca Marin denied being the culprit.