Ines and Erwann: Together Against Every Prejudice | A Game for Two


I’m Ines Boubakri, bronze medal
of Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Fencing is a family matter. I started with my mother
when I was younger. She was my first coach. Then over time the
mother/daughter relationship started to get tense,
so she stepped aside and I started working
with other fencing masters. My name is Erwann Le Pechoux,
I’m a fencer, Olympic vice-champion with my
team at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. I tried different sports,
I was never into anything, until I discovered fencing
by accident with my parents,
who had read an article. And I went for it, I was into it from
the beginning and I stayed. (A GAME FOR TWO, INES & ERWANN) Erwann’s most beautiful victory is his silver medal
at the Olympics in Rio because he had been
eagerly waiting for it for a while and, most of all, because I shared this moment
with him. I was there. It stays the most unique and by far the best
moment we shared. Her medal at
the World Championships two years ago was quite amazing because the odds weren’t really
in her favour at the time. I think it was
her best competition and her first
international medal. It’s by far
her most beautiful victory, even if it’s a third place. Erwann’s best quality in
sports? I would say his huge arm speed. I would love to have his arm
speed because he is very fast with
his arm and he’s so quick. I think that’s what makes the
difference with other fencers. It’s what kept him at the
highest level for a long time. Ines is the only left-hander
in the world to turn the opposite way – she turns counterclockwise, the
opposite of everyone else. That’s her strength because her counter sixte parry
is incredible. She’s very fast always at the
right moment. But she’s missing
the quart parade. I know she’s working on it. So, girls, be careful because she’s working on it! As a Tunisian and an Arab
woman, I was very proud of winning this Olympic medal. Most of all, it’s a message
in terms of sports and for the society in its whole. I believe that women deserve
their own place in every field. It was a source of pride to show young women
that everything is possible! My reaction
when she won her medal? It remains
my best moment ever in sports. When I won my bronze medal I immediately ran
towards the bleachers. I kept on repeating,
“I did it, I did it.” I did it, I went for the medal,
I’m an Olympic medallist. I get shivers
only to think about it. We were too emotional
to say anything. I only remember her repeating, “I did it, I did it,
I have it.” We support each other,
we root for one another. And it gives its fruits
because the fact that we both won an Olympic medal
within two days is magic. All the emotions, the stake it represented
and the emotions behind it linked to 15 years
of training and sacrifices for a little piece of metal, but it’s so important
for us fencers. (IT’S A MATTER OF GUTS
THAT NO-ONE CAN EXPLAIN) The kiss with Erwann
sparked controversy and created a buzz
on social media. I take responsibility for
what I did because it was… We call it the Olympic Kiss and I’m proud because it shows
that we are in love. It wasn’t planned.
Some approved, others not. It’s true that it’s not part
of my culture or traditions, but it could have happened
to anyone. (A KISS WITH THE FLAVOUR
OF VICTORY TO HER HUSBAND, (FRENCH FENCING CHAMPION
ERWANN LE PECHOUX) That kiss didn’t spark
a huge controversy, but it surely got people
talking, particularly in Tunisia. Ines’s family felt
they had to explain. I didn’t bother to answer because
it doesn’t deserve an answer. We live intense moments
that very few have lived, so people can’t understand
what it represents for us. It’s mixing love and religion. It’s complicated. I’m not interested
in answering those people. I live my life
as an athlete, as a man and I’m self-righteous. I know what I’m doing
and I have no regrets. Actually, the Games is no
religion. I first met Erwann in 2005.
It was my first time in Paris. I was at a retreat organised by the International
Fencing Federation. They took us
to a national bout in Melun and that’s when I met Erwann. He came. He was one of
the only high-level sportsmen to come and speak to me
and other African fencers. I met Ines… of course during
a fencing competition. I came in on a Sunday morning
for my competition and I dropped my bag
next to people from my club and Ines was sitting there too. I don’t know why –
rapidly, we started talking. After meeting Erwann,
we stayed in touch because we exchanged numbers,
but I went back to Tunis. We were friends.
I never imagined that I could be
in a relationship with him. But it’s destiny for me. Years after we met again,
we learned to know each other and that’s when it all started. I took her to a restaurant
in the Calanques, La Calanque de Figuerolles
in La Ciotat. It’s a beautiful calanque in a small restaurant
with a view on the sea. I wanted to surprise her. It was a very cute restaurant and during the dinner
Erwann gave me a small ring to show his intention. The first meeting
with Ines’s family… ..happened. It was a little tense
because… we were trying to make
our relationship official. It’s true that my mother
used to always tell me, because she was
very challenging, “Ines, don’t talk to me
about marriage “as long as you don’t
bring me a world medal.” And due to the odds or destiny I got engaged with Erwann
in 2012, I won my medal in 2014.
In July 2014, I won my medal and we got married
in August 2014. What really bothers me
about Ines… ..is the fact that she is
constantly on her phone. She’s always doing something
with her phone. Erwann’s weakness,
even if I love him so much, is the fact that he always
postpones everything. When I ask him to do something he always says
he’ll do it tomorrow. He never does it tomorrow, sometimes he does it
after a week when I put pressure on him. If I could change
three things in her? I would give her a little…
How could I say that? The fact that she acknowledges
that sometimes she’s wrong. That’s the first thing… Not much else.
I love her the way she is, so there’s not much
to be changed. If I had to change
something in Erwann… the fact that he accepts
that I’m wrong… ..and that’s it.
I love him the way he is. I used to be addicted
to social networks and Erwann got this idea
of doing… You still are. ..the proposal
by asking all my friends to change their profile image with, “Say yes,”
“Keep calm and say yes.” I started wondering why,
during the day, all my contacts
and friends in common were changing their picture. I was wondering
what was going on, so I tried to ask him. The funny thing is that you
woke up in the middle of the night… Yes, during the night. ..and you are so addicted that you took your phone
during the night and thought, “That’s strange.” I just wanted to see that. You weren’t that shocked,
you fell back asleep. Then it went on
during the whole day. Because on my timeline all my friends were changing
their photo. We’re talking about 200 people
who changed it. Even more. Then you went on the net
and you searched, saying it must be
some kind of new viral thing. Yes, because it was
during the whole “keep calm and say yes” thing. By the end of the day
I was a little tired and that’s when
he got the idea of saying, “How about we do a puzzle?” Patient as I am, I thought – the idea was…wonderful.
– Here’s the puzzle. So the puzzle has 200 pieces. It’s nothing,
a child could do it. Thank goodness I anticipated.
All the pieces were numbered. The pieces were numbered
on the back. It formed a snail like this… So I started like this. He always tells me, because
he’s the king of puzzles, to start with the edges. So I started
discovering things. Pictures of us two. Here, at the Olympics, I did nail art with the colours
of France and Tunisia. Pictures of us in Paris
with the foil. That was during
the vacations… – At my parents’ house.
– Yes, in the South. And here… – No, not there…
– Here in the middle. No, it starts here.
“Would you marry me?” And I took away those pieces. Yes, some pieces were missing. And I told her,
“Some pieces are missing. “Where are they? I lost them.”
And then…found them. And that’s when
he gave me a box… The box without the ring! Yes, it contained
the missing pieces! I was disappointed because
I didn’t find the ring! She took the box
and she was went… “No, it’s only the pieces!” (A GAME FOR TWO, INES & ERWANN)

17 thoughts on “Ines and Erwann: Together Against Every Prejudice | A Game for Two

  1. So she's a muslim huh, if she lived in a islamic country she wouldn't be allowed to ever leave the house, and for PDA she would be placed in prison, and so would be her husband.

  2. Someday, maybe people will drop their religious label once they realize their religion is wrong, instead of going around telling everyone they represent a religion yet doing everything that religion condemns. I say this not only to people like this young lady but to the Christian who is a homosexual or the Jewish kid who thinks it's fine to eat shelfish! Just dump the Iron-Age superstitions and we can all be human beings, instead of (label) man and (label) woman… peace.

  3. They r just about the cutest couple ever, so beautiful. Pretty incredible their response to the "3 things u would change" was exactly the same, almost verbatim. Even the 'i love her/him the way he/she is. Simply beautiful. What a perfect couple! Their kids r gonna be gorgeous.

  4. It's really fun to heard their love story, simple but heartwarming, especially her socmed addict habit. Happy for the couple 😀

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