On 17 June 2015 at 07:06 | updated on 21 June 2015 at 22:36

Meeting Clémence Halbout (France)

Meeting Clémence Halbout (France)

A few weeks before the 2015 European Championships of Speed Skating in Wörgl, Austria, we have interviewed Clémence Halbout, skater for Team France in the senior women's category...



Hello Clémence, how did you enter the world of skating?

Clémence Halbout

Hello! I entered the world of skating when I was 3 or 4. The coach of the club used to come to my preschool for skating workshops. I kept on with it at the skate school of the club. My sister was already a skater, I followed!

Did you practice other sports before or concurrently with skating?

I only did artistic skating (on ice) for a year when I was 8, and I took part in several triathlon workshops. Otherwise, it's always been speed skating only. I also did a little leisure roller hockey like everybody, during club practices, but that's all.

Why speed skating, and not another discipline?

Speed skating is a very complete sport, with the many skills it requires: endurance, speed, technique, tactics... But also because of the beauty of the movement, the speed sensation, the adrenalin, and the contact in packs...
Moreover, always having to improve and get better, to surpass yourself physically as well as mentally is very attractive to me... All those things for which I believe speed skating would really deserved to be better known.

Is skating a family history?

Clémence HalboutIt's true that skating is a family history. With my sister at first, and my parents afterwards. They have always been there, to go with us and support us throughout our carriers, and they are also into leisure skating since they both practice with the adults of the club.

You have skated for a long time with your sister, is your racing style going to evolve now that she has retired?

It's true, it's different now that she has stopped skating. I'll probably really see the difference at the European and World Championships. It's during those events that it is important to have a confirmed team mate with experience. This year is going to be different for me... But it will also make me take more confidence and experience, and have a bigger role.

Do you do any studies?

I managed to finish my studies last September. I got a Master degree in territorial management of sustainable development. This year for 6 months, I do civic service at the CREPS of Bordeaux, France as the assignment manager of sustainable development. Then I'll have to look for a job.

How do you reconcile sport and studies/professional life?

Clémence HalboutManaging a double project is hard for high level athletes. I didn't have any schedule arrangement until my second year of Master. It has always been complicated to handle because I really wanted to succeed in both areas. It's essential to optimize your time and get organized to do so.

I've often heard reproaches on Team France athletes whose sports results don't measure up to the international level. I think you have to realize that some athletes try the best they can to succeed in their double project, and reaching the highest level is really hard when you concurrently aim at an academic or professional future.

This double-project problematic is unsolvable since it's not possible (for me) to be 100% into training if you work on the side. You have to get organized, optimize, and manage to put things into perspective as for the results coming out of it.

What are your objectives for the season to come?

My main objective is to get a European title and enter the world Top-6.

What would you say to motivate new female skaters to join the women's pack?

I'm already glad that there are promising and rising generations or girls, both for sprint and long distance. I can only tell them to persevere and reach the highest level, because Team France is an opportunity for great experiences and encounters. High level is very rewarding, despite all the sacrifices. I'd like to say to all the girls to never give up, to persevere and try hard.

I also think that motivation can come from external help, especially at a club level, from coaches, at a federal level, and that action has to be taken for female practice.

Free space: Do you have anything to add?

I think that the federation should invest more in favor of women, especially in terms of support, national races, but also in Team France and in the media. According to me, too little room is dedicated to senior women today, and without boosting, the motivation of the young ones can't last... You have to help and support them, make them dream. It's about results, but not only. It's a vicious circle, and action has to be taken to keep the young ones, and the less-young ones into the women's pack.
Female psychology isn't the same as for men, actions should be taken accordingly!

Clémence Halbout

Technical facts

Name: Clémence Halbout
Nickname: Clem / Clemch
Birthdate: August 4th, 1990
Born in: Fontainebleau, France
Height: 1.66 m
Weight: 55 kg
Country: France
Lives in: Talence, France
Started skating in: 1993
Category: Senior Women
Studies: Geography / Territorial management / Sustainable development
Job: Assignment manager of sustainable development
Strong points: ???, finish
Strong points to be improved: Technique, mental
Other sports: Track and field, cycling, bodybuilding
Last movie: Chappie
Favorite music: Imagine Dragons - Demons
Video games: -
Reading: Musso's complete collection
Likes: Shopping
Dislikes: Hypocrisy
Qualities: Perfectionist
Flaws: I leave it to you to judge ^^
Club: 2 APN Avon
Team: Bont Skate
Best memory: 1000 m at the EuropaCup Wörgl with Brittany Bowe in June, 2015
Worst memory: Head concussion (2009)
Spoken languages: French, English
Alcohol or fruit juice: I'm not against a glass of wine :)
Beach or mountain? Both
Morning or evening? Neither of them
Cheese or dessert? Cheese
Rap, Metal or techno music? Rather rap
Football or rugby? Rugby?


  • 23 French titles (20 in the senior category), 23 silver medals, 8 bronze medals
  • 1 European title, 6 silver medals, 7 bronze medals
  • 8th place / 4th place at World Championships / World Games / International cups
  • Winner of the 2013 World Inline Cup Stage of the Dijon Marathon


Meeting Margaux Vigié, speed skater

Portrait of Brittany Bowe (USA)

Meeting with Guillaume de Mallevoue

By Alfathor
Translated by Chloe Seyres
Photos : Mediaskates.com, FFRS
Aurore Trelaün Photographie
Luc Halbout, FIRS 
Released  on 17 June 2015 - Read 6965 times

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