Christian Raspiller – Sudpresse
David Finch / Judophotos.com
Athlete life isn’t very easy. Injuries belong to the sport, not just in this time and among all athletes not just the bad ones, also top athletes had to suffer a lot. Christian Raspiller spoke record multi World Champion Ingrid Berghmans who suffered many injuries. In our double portrait with one of the best female athletes ever, Christian Rapsiller overlooks the number of injuries with Berghmans.
The first hard blow of her career, Ingrid will know it in March 1985 at the Euro in Landskrona in Sweden where she nevertheless snatched the gold in – 72 kilos: “I broke my knee in the first fight. We slapped it down, but it bothered me. It was a Dutch healer who forced me to hand in one: ‘If you fall, you never fight again!’… ”The return to Belgium obviously goes through the operating table of Professor Jacques Rogge (the former president of the IOC between 2001 and 2013): “The total: cruciate and external ligaments in pieces, I was yelled at by Rogge who called me crazy. I just replied, “I won! “…”
“Jacques Rogge called me crazy”
The rest of his career will only be a long battle against injuries, operations and rehabilitation: “The knees are 7 or 8 times, I don’t remember, there was the shoulder in 1984 then three or four; both the wrist from 1989 and then the back of the neck after my career … “And today her body still makes her pay a heavy price:” There is a huge wear on the right shoulder that I feel now that winter approach. Knee prostheses? We’ve been talking about it for twelve or fourteen years, but I don’t have time … “
In October 1989, she won her last world title in Belgrade in U72kg: “I turned my wrist at the very end on a movement on the ground but four days later I was still 5th in All Categories. I would have done better to give up … “
As bad luck ensued, she would never regain the integrity of her physical abilities to finally put her kimono away in 1991, a year before the Barcelona Games.
Running her club in Liegge
“During an internship in Paris, I fell back badly and I couldn’t walk. Professor Delcourt received me in Seraing at midnight. I had meniscus surgery in the morning. I told Marc, it’s over! He told me I’ll give you a month to think it over. I still went to Japan for an internship. I only climbed the tatami once thinking to myself but what am I doing here? They tried to hold me back, Jean-Marie Dedecker, the Belgian judo boss at the time, wrote me a letter but my head didn’t want it anymore and the body couldn’t take it anymore … “
In the meantime, Ingrid had married Marc Vallot, a judoka from Liège: “I wanted a child, we waited three months for me to really stop judo and Maxime arrived in March 1992 and we bought the walls of the Vital in December! “
The “Vital Club”, a (re) fitness club in the district of Fétinne in Liège which she still manages despite the death of Marc in 2001 at only 38 years old.