Currently in Tarbes, Isabelle Yacoubou, 36, tells her story in a book entitled “Giant”. The basketball player, Olympic vice-champion in London in 2012, retraces in this autobiography the course of her life, from her native village in Benin, to the France team.
” Advancing in age invites you to look back on yourself writes Isabelle Yacoubou, a teenager who left Benin for France, without money, in the hope of becoming a top athlete and living off her passion, basketball.
She was 17 when she arrived in France, her head full of dreams. In this autobiography, Isabelle Yacoubou frankly recounts her journey strewn with pitfalls, which nevertheless opens the doors of glory to her. In particular with the “Braqueuses” of the French team, and this silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012, the peak of his career.
giantess, frankly retraces the journey of an exceptional sportswoman and woman who, after each failure, does not stop bouncing back. ” With this writing work, I wanted people to understand what I went through. I wanted people to understand who I am, and how the hardships have shaped my personality “says the one who had started with athletics and shot put. She represented Benin at two world championships.
Desires for travel and freedom
From an early age, Isabelle Yacoubou had a desire for travel and freedom that she began to taste with athletics competitions. But she feels alone. With basketball, she discovers conviviality, sharing, friends. “ I did not hesitate between athletics and high-level basketball », Says the one who says she ate the « rabid cow ” to succeed. Isabelle Yacoubou, fatherless at the age of 14, did not want to disappoint her family. The family is the essence of his existence. Isabelle Yacoubou was a mother very early, a choice assumed with force.
She adopts her little boy, her life changes, she has to adapt. She fights to continue her career and reconcile the two and succeeds. Isabelle Yacoubou never lets go of the rope. Even after the death of his brother. ” Getting up every day is a privilege and not living this life 100% would send a message of abandonment. And I know that my father and my brother always wanted me to live life to the fullest. I live every day like it’s the last she says modestly.
Become a coach
Isabelle Yacoubou wore the France team jersey 147 times between 2007 and 2016 and won a European championship in 2009, 1 silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, two silver medals at the Europe 2013 and 2015 as well as a bronze medal at the 2011 European Championship. In club, the prize list is also well fleshed out with two titles of champion of France (2010, 2022), 4 Italian cups (2011, 2015, 2016 and 2018), 4 Italian championships (2011, 2015, 2016, 2018), but also the Women’s EuroLeague in 2012 as well as the Spanish championship the same year. ” Sport has given me confidence in myself. If someone made fun of my size and my physique, I could tell them : “you are not able to do the same”sums up this woman with such a long list of achievements.
“ I’m ready to leave the floor to the young peoplenow advances Isabelle Yacoubou who has the ambition to become a coach. I want to do everything possible to make it happen. I’m ready to close the gamer chapter. Tarbes is a club that has always surfed on youth and it is important in the continuity of my project “.
Interview by Christophe Diremszian and Farid Achache
Isabelle Yacoubou, Giant – The matches of my life, L’Archipel edition