Émilie Le Pennec
|Émilie Le Pennec|
Le Pennec in 2005
|Born||31 December 1987|
|Height||151 cm (4.95 ft)|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Level||Senior International Elite|
|Head coach(es)||Yves Kieffer & Marjorie Hoels|
Émilie Le Pennec (born 31 December 1987 in La Garenne-Colombes, Hauts-de-Seine) is a retired French artistic gymnast. Le Pennec was the 2004 Olympic Champion on the uneven bars and was the first female French gymnast to win an Olympic medal in women's artistic gymnastics.
Coached by Yves Kieffer at Pôle France INSEP in Paris, Le Pennec was the French junior national champion in 2002. At her first senior nationals in 2003, she placed fifth, but won a silver medal on her specialty, the uneven bars. She represented France at the 2002 Junior European Championships, where she won a bronze medal in the team event. At the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships, Le Pennec was a member of the 10th-place French team. She also qualified for the all-around and the floor exercise finals, where she finished 11th and seventh, respectively.
At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Le Pennec placed sixth with the French team and 14th in the all-around final. However, she shone in the uneven bars event final, where her challenging routine helped her win a gold medal over a tough field with numerous Olympic and world champions, including Svetlana Khorkina (who took an infamous fall from the apparatus, which she traditionally dominated) and 2002 World Champion Courtney Kupets. Her medal marked the first ever for a French female gymnast.
Le Pennec continued to train and compete after the Olympics. In 2005, she earned two medals at the European Championships: gold on uneven bars and bronze on floor. She also qualified to the all-around finals in first place, but lost any chance for a medal when she fell during her balance beam routine. Le Pennec also competed in the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne, but mistakes prevented her from medalling.
One of Le Pennec's competitive uneven bars routine was considered to be one of the most technically difficult in the world. In it, she completed a Def (a Gienger release move with a full twist), an element classified at the top difficulty level, Super-E, in the 2005 Code of Points. Le Pennec also performed a double-twisting double back tuck salto dismount.
Le Pennec missed the 2006 European Championships to concentrate on schoolwork. Later, recuperating from an Achilles' tendon injury and acting on the advice of her doctors, she sat out of the 2006 World Championships.
On 27 September 2007, she announced via a press release that she had put an end to her career, mainly after failing to retrieve her level after her multiple injuries in 2006–2007, the latest being a heel injury contracted during the Vittel international match in August 2007.
Olympic Bars Routine: Jump to the low bar immediately to the high bar; hop with full turn; Def (Gienger with 1.5 turn); full pirouette into half pirouette down to the low bar; double-twisting double back tuck somersault. (S.V: 10.0)
- "Emilie Le Pennec" (in French). Paris: Fédération Française de Gymnastique. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- Press release : Émilie Le Pennec puts an end to her career Archived 4 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Jolly, Patricia (27 June 2015). "On a retrouvé… La gymnaste Emilie Le Pennec, devenue kiné". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 4 March 2016.