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Debauve Details Diverse Ambitions
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Although 2005 European all-around champion Marine Debauve competed at the French Team Championships in June, she told IG she is not likely to return to international competition.

Debauve announced her retirement from international competition shortly after the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne. In April and October 2006, she had wrist surgery. Between operations she began training as a diver.

Marine Debave

"I really like diving for fun, but to train every day quickly reminded me of the repetition I found in gymnastics," said the 18-year-old Debauve, a native of Dijon. "Therefore I stopped."

Earlier this year, Debauve resumed light training in gymnastics, and competed on balance beam and floor exercise for the Créteil club at the French Team Championships held in June.

"It was good to find the sensations again," Debauve told IG this week. "Although the idea of returning to the high level crosses my mind sometimes, I know that this is going to be very hard and I knew the sacrifices it would take. Therefore, for the moment this is not in my plan."

Debauve, who at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games earned the French women's best all-around finish in Olympic history, said she has faith in the new generation of French gymnasts. She named Cassy Vericel, Marine Petit and Katheleen Lindor as strong candidates for the 2008 Beijing Games, and added that the current team is strong enough without her.

"They have progressed a lot, and I hope they will be able to qualify the French team for 2008!" Debauve said. "I am not sure that the team really needs me. Above all my wrist has not fully healed, so I could probably no longer do uneven bars. And in this situation there is already (2004 Olympic bars champion) Emilie Le Pennec and maybe Isabelle Severino."

When Debauve announced her retirement in 2006, she noted her interest in becoming a trainer of dogs - specifically for customs inspections. She has been unable to pursue that line of work, though, because of her petite size.

"To enter the gendarme or the army, there is a height requirement of 1.60 meters, and unfortunately I am 3 or 4 centimeters short of that," Debauve said. "Therefore I have enrolled in the sport science program at the university. And if nothing pleases me, then the year after I would take up studies in business."

Debauve said that, in spite of the challenges she has faced in the recent past, she has achieved much.

"This year has been really good for me," Debauve said. "I got my driver's license, and I passed my bac (university entrance exams)!"

Marine Debauve is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
April 2006 - "Debauve Departs" (retirement feature)
August/September 2005 - 2005 European Championships coverage
October 2004 - 2004 Olympic Games special issue

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