Camille Sénéclauze, BMC athlete living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), faces challenging journey on Road to Paris 2024

Camille Sénéclauze, BMC athlete living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), faces challenging journey on Road to Paris 2024

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2019, a condition significantly affecting her training and performance, Camille Sénéclauze is determined to fulfill her dream of reaching Paris 2024, despite the protests from her body.

"Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord, resulting in various symptoms. For me, it primarily manifests as a loss of strength on the right side of my body, sensory loss, and extreme fatigue," explains Sénéclauze.

Initially experiencing symptoms such as numbness in her legs and arms, along with tiredness, the para-athlete recounts, "MS progresses with relapses and more stable stages and is degenerative. Between relapses, I live with irreversible after-effects."

These effects disrupt Sénéclauze's performance at every stage of training and racing. "During swimming, I experience reduced strength in my right arm, and my legs may suffer from spasticity. Exiting the water worsens my balance issues. On the bike, I have roughly a 60/40 power ratio between my left and right legs. Running worsens power imbalances, intensifying symptoms like pain, spasms, and numbness. However, I persist in training daily to perform despite these challenges."

Despite the progressive difficulty her body presents, the French para-athlete never considered quitting the sport she fell in love with when diagnosed with MS. "I discovered triathlon concurrently with my diagnosis and immediately fell in love with the sport, transitioning from being a runner only."

"I initially competed with non-disabled athletes," the BMC athlete continues. "Later, I chose to be classified in paratriathlon with the French federation. After participating in detection days, where paratriathletes were tested in all three sports, I was selected to join the development team in 2023. This stage precedes joining the French national team and allows participation in international competitions." 

"Following significant progress and a season with performances I was happy with," she adds, "I qualified for the French national team this year. Now I hope to secure a spot for Paris 2024."

Sénéclauze had initially aimed for Los Angeles 2028. However, her outstanding performances last year have allowed her to dream of Paris 2024. "I have until the 1st of July to qualify for the paratriathlon (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) in Paris. To achieve this, I must perform well in upcoming events, and I am committed to doing my utmost to turn one of my dreams into reality."

Concerning her ideal bike setup for qualification, Sénéclauze notes, "In paratriathlon, drafting is forbidden, so we can use aero bars and TT bikes. The ideal setup depends on the course type, ranging from a BMC Timemachine Road with aero bars to a full TT bike like the BMC Speedmachine."