Crowned world champion for the first time in October, Romane Dicko, who is aiming for victory at the Grand Slam in Paris on Sunday, is leading her career while pursuing studies in mathematics at the Sorbonne. And she assures him: “maths is a bit like judo”.
Until the Paris 2024 Games, the triple European champion of +78 kg and Olympic bronze medalist tells her story to AFP. In this fourth episode, the 23-year-old judoka talks about her daily life between training, university or video lessons and reviews.
“Maths is a subject that has always attracted me so it was natural for me to continue after the baccalaureate and it was important to keep this foot in school”, says Dicko, questioned a few days before the prestigious Paris Tournament.
“Often, people ask me what I like in maths, it’s simple, there is a problem, you have to find a solution. It’s a bit like judo: there is a problem which is to do knocking the opponent down. Solution: we apply a technique. I like the fact of having a method that we learn and that we have to adapt according to the problem. It’s something that speaks to me.”
– Calculator, sheet and pen –
Currently in the second year of a bachelor’s degree, Dicko benefits from an adapted curriculum, which allows him to spread out the subjects to be validated over several years. “A typical day is training in the morning for an hour and a half, two hours. Then we go to eat. Then, at the beginning of the afternoon: an hour and a half or two hours of classes at the university. Then we come back to Insep (in the Bois de Vincennes, editor’s note) for an hour and a half, two hours of training. And in the evening, if I’m not too tired, it’s revisions, “she explains .
“It’s very difficult! The most complicated thing is during competitions or internships. Often the girls say to me: + But Romane, I don’t understand how you do it! +. We’re on internship, we’re tired and in the evening, I still have video lessons, revisions or checks.
“At the World Championships (last October in Tashkent, editor’s note), I brought my course stuff because I had to revise, I had distance learning courses. There, for the next Worlds in May, I ‘ve looked at my exam dates and it’s the week after the Worlds, so I’ll have to revise during the competition. The most complicated thing is not going to university, it’s mainly the moments when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired. Mentally, you should rest but you have to make the effort to take out your calculator, your paper and your pen. Afterwards, I signed up for that!”
– “I take my time” –
“I don’t put too much pressure on myself about that either. If there are years when I see it’s too complicated, I have the option of removing subjects per semester. If I have four subjects in my program and I realize that it’s too much, well we only put three and we move on to the next year. I really try to tell myself: as long as I advance “, it’s good. Even if there are years when I do less subjects, as long as I continue to move towards my goal of validating my license, there is no problem.”
But the PSG Judo resident knows that she will have to “reduce a little” her course program as the Olympics approach. “We are going on an internship, it will be very physically and mentally demanding. So I really take my time to pass my license and then my master’s degree to allow me to continue my sporting career and my education in the best possible way.”
“For the moment, it’s working well. Afterwards, I don’t validate with an average of 18, huh! But I validate and I understand, so that’s the main thing, and I continue to advance at my own pace.”
Interview by Diane FALCONER