Born in Champigny-sur-Marne, in the Paris region, to two engineering parents, she began boxing at the age of 12, after learning classical dance, figure skating and swimming: “It was a sport of fight that I had seen on TV and that I wanted to test. English boxing was a bit of a fluke. ” If she is one of the few women to enter the ring, she assures that she has not suffered the machismo of the middle: “Maybe I was lucky, but I was very well received by my coaches, who were protective of me and didn’t differentiate between girls and boys. ” At 17, she opened up the possibility of entering the French team. At the time, Estelle Mossely already had Olympic ambition in the back of her mind. A well-made head that she does not intend to neglect: “I was out of the question that I would stop studying.” At 18, with her bac S in her pocket, she trained twice a day and at the same time entered the Leonardo da Vinci engineering school in Courbevoie. While no accommodation has been designed for top-level athletes, the young woman does however have the option of taking time off for her sporting deadlines. Fan of new technologies, she always wanted to “work in IT”. After five years of studies, she was hired at Allianz as a designer developer. Computer programming has no secrets for her.
How does each of your two activities nourish the other?
I always told myself that I needed both. However, it was not always easy to bring them together, especially during my studies, which were not specially designed for top athletes. Today, that’s a balance that I have found and that is essential to me. In difficult times of training, in times of competitive failure, having another activity allowed me to switch to another world, which helped me to pass the course.
How are they radically different?
On the one hand, there is physical activity, on the other, intellectual activity. So I have to be the best, intellectually speaking, in my business, and the best physically in training.
How are they complementary?
Whether it’s sport or work, I always want to progress, to do better, to get closer to my goals. The medals to come, the results in my work, I am always looking for evolution, progress.
“You have to have a certain strength of character to get in the ring, give and take hits.”
What qualities do they both require?
Willingness, a lot of rigor and surpassing oneself. But also respect for others: I have always been led as an engineer to work in groups, you have to accept each other’s differences in order to give the best possible, and it’s the same in boxing.
Does your personality adapt to each of your activities?
Yes, I’m a very competitive person, and obviously combative. This is important in boxing because you are in the confrontation with others, in the fight, and you have to have a certain strength of character to get in the ring, to give and to take punches. It’s the same as an engineer, the constraints are quite heavy, we sometimes have little time given the amount of work to be done. I have this ability to continue despite the difficulties that stand in my way.
As a woman, how easily do you perform both of your activities?
Yes, I do not pay attention to the problems that women can have in the world of high performance sport, although obviously I am aware of them. Boxing is basically a men’s sport, and among engineers there have always been more men than women; I am for example the only one on a team of fifteen people. My strength of character and my determination, however, make it take a back seat.
If you had to choose one activity, which one would it be?
Between sport and entrepreneurial challenge, I don’t want to make a choice, I am passionate about what I do: I have become an Olympic champion and, besides that, I ambition to become a great woman within the business.