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Camille Muffat
Camille Muffat.jpg
Muffat in 2012
Personal information
Nationality  France
Born (1989-10-28)28 October 1989
Nice, France
Died 9 March 2015(2015-03-09) (aged 25)
Villa Castelli, La Rioja, Argentina
Height 1.83
Weight 71 kilograms (157 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, medley
Club Olympique Nice Natation
Medal record
Representing  France
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 1 1 1
World Championships (LC) 0 0 4
World Championships (SC) 1 0 1
European Championships (LC) 0 1 1
European Championships (SC) 4 2 1
Mediterranean Games 1 0 0
Total 7 4 8
Olympic Games
Gold 2012 London 400 m freestyle
Silver 2012 London 200 m freestyle
Bronze 2012 London 4×200 m freestyle
World Championships (LC)
Bronze 2011 Shanghai 200 m freestyle
Bronze 2011 Shanghai 400 m freestyle
Bronze 2013 Barcelona 200 m freestyle
Bronze 2013 Barcelona 4×200 m freestyle
World Championships (SC)
Gold 2010 Dubai 200 m freestyle
Bronze 2010 Dubai 4×200 m freestyle
European Championships (LC)
Silver 2010 Budapest 4×200 m freestyle
Bronze 2008 Eindhoven 200 m medley
European Championships (SC)
Gold 2007 Debrecen 200 m medley
Gold 2012 Chartres 200 m freestyle
Gold 2012 Chartres 400 m freestyle
Gold 2012 Chartres 4×50 m mixed freestyle
Silver 2006 Helsinki 200 m medley
Silver 2008 Rijeka 400 m freestyle
Bronze 2007 Debrecen 400 m medley
Mediterranean Games
Gold 2009 Pescara 200 m medley

Camille Muffat (French pronunciation: [ka.mij myfa]; 28 October 1989 – 9 March 2015) was a French swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist. Swimming for the Olympic Nice Natation club, she specialised in the individual medley and the free style events. Her career ran from 2005 to 2014.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won gold in the 400-metre freestyle, silver in the 200-metre freestyle and bronze in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay, becoming the fourth French swimmer to win an individual Olympic gold medal. She was also the third French athlete overall to win three Olympic medals at a single edition of the Olympic Games.

She died in the Villa Castelli helicopter collision, at age 25, during the filming of French TV reality show Dropped for the TF1 network.

Early life

Born on 28 October 1989 in Nice, Camille Marie Manuella Muffat was the middle child in the family, having an older sister, Chloé, and a younger brother, Quentin. Her father, Guy Muffat was a physical therapist and her mother, Laurence, was a nurse.

Upon finishing high school, she pursued a degree in economics, during which time she swam under a high-performance athlete studying system. She eventually dropped out of school in order to pursue her swimming career.


Muffat was trained as a medley swimmer who was particularly gifted in the breaststroke and crawl styles, which are the closing disciplines in the medley.

However, after a strong start to her career, her results in the medley events started to fade, and Muffat felt like she could not sustain her pace well enough to achieve her goals by swimming the medley. As a result, she changed her swimming profile, switching to the freestyle events, at the suggestion of her coach Fabrice Pellerin.

Under Pellerin's guidance, Muffat dedicated herself to an extensive training programme, which included training on Sundays for a year before the 2012 Olympic Games.


Muffat first came into the spotlight in 2005, upon beating fellow Frenchwoman Laure Manaudou in the 200-metre individual medley event at the French National Championship, in Nancy, also breaking the French national record, which Manaudou also held.

Only months later, she would again win the 200-metre individual medley event at the European Junior Championships, held in Budapest, Hungary. At the European Juniors, she would also take silver in the 100-metre freestyle.

In 2006, she debuted in the senior European Championships by swimming a leg of the 4 × 100 metres freestyle relay for France. A month later, she won four medals, including one gold, at that year's World Junior Championships, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In December 2006, she attained her first international podium, at the European Short Course Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

In 2007, for the first time Muffat took part in a World Championship, held in Melbourne, Australia, reaching semifinals in the 400 m medley. At the end of the year, she had her first victory in senior competitions, by winning the 200-metre individual medley and taking bronze in the 400-metre individual medley event at the 2007 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Debrecen, Hungary.


In March 2008, Muffat won her first medal as a senior, long-course international event, by taking bronze at the 200-metre individual medley at the European Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

On the first day of the 2008 French national championships, a qualifying event for that year's Olympic Games, Muffat and Joanne Andraca tied in the 400 m individual medley (IM) in a new French record of 4:38.23. Two days later, she won gold at the 200-metre individual medley by breaking Laure Manaudou's French record. At the end of competition, Muffat had qualified for the 200- and the 400-metre individual medley events at the Olympics, and clinched a berth in the French team for the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, however, Muffat only qualified for the final of the relay, where the team finished fifth.

Later, at the 2008 European Short Course Championships, held in Rijeka, Muffat finished second in the 400-metre freestyle, bested by her countrywoman and former Olympic relay teammate, Coralie Balmy. On both the 200- and 400-metre individual medley events, she finished in fifth place.

At the 2009 French national championships, Muffat sets a new French record in the 200 m IM (2:09.34). At that year's World Championships, in Rome, she finished 7th in the 200 m individual medley final, and takes part in the French team that finishes eighth in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay final.

At the 2010 French Championship, in Saint-Raphäel, she wins both the 200 m individual medley event and the 400 m individual medley event, finishing second to Coralie Balmy in the 200 m freestyle event. At the European Championships in Budapest, Muffat arrived as the favourite to take gold at the 200 m individual medley, declaring to the press that the gold medal is her objective in that event. However, after leading the field into the third discipline of the medley, the breaststroke, she was overtaken by Hungarian Katinka Hosszú, causing Muffat to lose momentum and finish fourth in the event. On the same day, the French 4 × 200 m freestyle relay team also finishes second in the final when Muffat, who was anchoring the French relay, got overtaken by another Hungarian swimmer, Evelyn Verrasztó. Two days later, she would also finish 4th in the 200 m freestyle event, which was won by Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini.

Following her disappointing results, her coach, Fabrice Pellerin, urges Muffat to make a choice between the medley events and the freestyle events. Choosing the latter, Muffat improved her results in freestyle swimming, taking first place in all distances (50 m, 100 m, 200 m and 400 m) at the following French Championships, at Chartre, where she also broke the French record in the 100 m freestyle event.

A month later, at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai, Muffat would take her first world title, by winning the 200 m freestyle event, defeating Katie Hoff of the United States and Kylie Palmer of Australia. Swimming with the French 4 × 200 m freestyle relay, she also took a bronze medal from the event.

In 2011, Muffat repeated the feat of winning all four distances (100 m, 200 m, 400 m and 800 m) at the French Championships in Strasbourg, thus also qualifying in all events for that year's World Championships, in Shanghai, China. At the World Championships Muffat took two bronze medals, in the 200 m and the 400 m freestyle events.


In March 2012, at the French Championships in Dunkerque, Muffat won the 400 m freestyle event by breaking Laure Manaudou's French record, established in 2006. Her time of 4:01:13 was the world's fastest of the year at the time, and earned her a berth in that year's Olympic Games. Two days later, Muffat would also win the 200 m freestyle event, breaking her own French record with a time of 1:54:87, thus qualifying for that event as well at the Olympic Games in London.

Muffat qualified to enter three events at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She won the gold medal in the 400 m freestyle with a new Olympic record, as well as the silver medal in the 200 m freestyle event. Also, her 4 × 200 m freestyle team won the bronze medal in a time of 7:47.49. [Camille Muffat (1:55.51); Charlotte Bonnet (1:57.78); Ophélie-Cyrielle Étienne (1:58.05); Coralie Balmy (1:56.15)]. She thus equalled Laure Manaudou's 2004 Olympics achievement of one gold, one silver and one bronze, and also became only the third Frenchwoman after Micheline Ostermeyer and Manaudou to win three medals in a single summer or winter Olympic Games.

In April 2013, at the French Championships in Rennes, she won the 400 m freestyle event for a third consecutive time, while also winning the 100 m and 200 m freestyle events, which qualified her for all three events at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Her performance at the 2013 World Championships, however, were below expectations, with Muffat taking home the bronze medals, in the 200 m freestyle and the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay. In her signature 400 m freestyle event, however, she finished a disappointing seventh in the final.

After the World Championships, Muffat decided to cut down on her training routine temporarily, and took a gold, a silver and a bronze at the 2013 French Short Course Championships in Dijon. At that year's European Championships, however, she failed to qualify for the 200 m freestyle final, and finished fifth in the 400 m.

At the 2014 French Championships in Chartres, a qualifying event for the 2014 European Championships, Muffat won four titles, taking gold in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m freestyle, as well as in the 100 m butterfly. She also took silver in the 50 m freestyle.

However, on 12 July 2014, before the European Championships, she announced her retirement from competitive swimming at age 24, during an interview to the French newspaper, L'Équipe.


On 9 March 2015, as a part of a group of sports stars participating in the French reality TV show Dropped, Muffat was killed along with nine other people when two helicopters collided in mid-air during filming in northwestern Argentina. Her funeral was held in a private ceremony in the Church of St. John the Baptist, in Nice, on 25 March, in a joint service with boxer Alexis Vastine, who died in the same accident.

Earnings, sponsorships and accolades

Muffat's agent, Sophie Kamoun, refused to disclose details concerning the income earned by Muffat in commercial endorsements. The French newspaper Le Figaro estimated that for the year 2013, it should be close to €500,000.

She signed a sponsorship deal with Électricité de France ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, and the French Olympic Committee also pays money prizes for athletes earning medals at the games.

On 1 January 2013, Muffat was made a Knight (Chevalier) of the Légion d'honneur.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Camille Muffat para niños

  • World record progression 400 metres freestyle
  • World record progression 800 metres freestyle
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