Laetitia Begue (FRA)

1992 Junior European Team Championships: 2nd T
1992 Trophee Massilia: 2nd UB
1993 Junior Euros: 8th AA, 7th BB
1993 World Stars: 6th AA
1993 International Japan Junior: 4th AA, 3rd UB, 5th BB
1994 Junior Euros: 2nd AA, 4th UB, 5th BB, 8th FX
1994 French National Championships: 1st AA (tie)
1994 City of Popes Cup: 1st AA
1995 French Telecom: 4th V, 1st UB, 2nd FX
1995 French National Championships: 8th AA, 1st V, 2nd BB, 2nd FX
1995 World Championships: 6th T, 13th AA
1995 Atlanta Gymnastics Invitational: 8th AA, 11th V, 10th UB
1996 French National Championships: 1st AA, 3rd UB, 4th BB, 4th FX
1996 USA vs France: 2nd T, 5th UB, 3rd BB, 2nd FX
1997 Seventh Games of the Small States: 4th T, 18th AA (competed only 2 events), 1st UB, 4th BB

The majority of these results were compiled from information found at Gymn Forum

Photo courtesy of Beth Squires

A decade ago, the French gymnastics federation persuaded Lin Xuan and Shi Amo, Chinese coaches (and husband and wife), to move to France and take over their elite national program. The pair's first French phenom was Elodie Lussac, the first Western European female to win the Junior European title. In Lussac's shadow, but right on her heels, was Laetitia Begue.

Laetitia's background can only be described as exotic. Born in Monaco, her father is Vietnamese and her mother is French (although of Italian descent). After years of ballet and modern dance, Begue settled in gymnastics. A citizen of both Monaco and France, Begue decided to take advantage of France's superior training facilities.

Although she missed her parents and brother Laurent greatly, Begue thrived in Marseille at the National training center. She contributed to France's shocking and unprecedented silver medal at the 1992 Junior European team championships, emphasized her specialty on bars at the 1992 Trophee Massilia by earning the silver medal at only 12 years of age, and won international praise and attention by placing second at the 1994 European Junior Championships. That same year, Begue managed to escape Lussac's shadow: the two tied for the French National Championship title.

While Lussac went on to suffer an unfortunate career-ending injury, Begue continued to improve. She continued to accumulate medals and praise (especially on floor, where she and her teammates performed to innovative routines choreographed by Romanian emigree Adriana Pop). In 1996, Begue repeated her win from 1994, once again becoming the French national champion. A spot on France's Olympic team was guaranteed.

Sadly, in April 1996, Begue suffered a knee injury while vaulting. Her coaches reassured Begue of her spot on the Olympic team, discouraging her from worrying and instead focusing on healing her injury. Unfortunately, Begue learned at the last minute that she would not travel to Atlanta with the team. To say that she was frustrated would be an understatement. Begue quickly packed up her things and left Marseilles. She resurfaced one year later at the 1997 Games of the Small States. Competing for Monaco, she won the uneven bars.

Begue was born on September 30, 1980 

. This page was created on June 10th, 1999 and last updated on December 16, 1999.


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