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HERNANDEZ Cecile
Sport Para snowboard
NPC France   
GenderWomen
Age46
Place of BirthPerpignan, FRA
Height1.67 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Impaired muscle power
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL1
Further Personal Information
Family
Husband Frederic, daughter Victoire-Eleonore [2007]
Other names
Cecile Hernadez-Cervellon
Residence
Perpignan, FRA
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
Catalan, French
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began snowboarding as a girl, and first tried Para snowboard in December 2013.
Why this sport?
"In the mid-1990s I was doing BMX, but the discipline was gradually being abandoned in favour of mountain biking, so I started looking for a sport that would give me the same sensations as BMX. Gliding, speed, trajectories and jumps. As I lived in a mountainous region, snowboarding came to me and I immediately loved it."
Club / Team
Douane [FRA] / Les Angles [FRA]:
Training Regime
During the European winter she trains on the slopes in Les Angles, France. She also combines her training with skateboarding in Theza, France.
Senior International Debut
Year
2013
Competing for
France
General Interest
Nicknames
Cash (Facebook page, 29 May 2020)
Hobbies
Writing. (lindependant.fr, 23 Jun 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a silver medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, and winning gold at the 2015 World Championships in La Molina, Spain. (dicodusport.fr, 01 Oct 2017; Confinement Inside YouTube channel, 08 Apr 2020)
Injuries
In January 2020 she broke two vertebrae after slipping on the snow during a training session. She returned to competition less than two months later. (paralympic.org, 29 May 2020)

She dislocated her hip and knee 11 days before she won the SB-LL1 snowboard cross competition at the 2019 World Cup event in La Molina, Spain. (paralympic.org, 05 Mar 2019)

She suffered a shoulder injury in the early part of 2018. (dicodusport.fr, 01 Mar 2018)

She sustained an injury to her left foot in 2017, which prevented her from training for five months. (Facebook page, 26 May 2017; sportdecouverteblog.wordpress.com, 28 Nov 2017; sans-filtre.fr, 20 Sep 2018)

In 2015 she was troubled by injuries and the effects of her multiple sclerosis. (paralympic.org, 10 Nov 2015)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She carries the three medals she won at the 2014 and 2018 Paralympic Winter Games almost everywhere. "I want them to feel 'alive', so I take them with me almost everywhere. They symbolise my everyday fight. It's the culmination of all those dark years with my illness, all those years of training and the embodiment of all I was able to achieve as a woman and as a mother." (sans-filtre.fr, 20 Sep 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"In life, anything can happen." (sans-filtre.fr, 20 Sep 2018)
Awards and honours
In October 2019 she was named a Knight of the National Legion of Honour in France. (lindependant.fr, 10 Oct 2019)

In June 2014 she was named a Knight of the National Order of Merit in France. (paralympic.org, 10 Nov 2015)
Other sports
She competed in BMX at international level prior to her diagnosis. (cecilehernandezcervellon.com, 16 Feb 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2019 World Championships in Pyha, Finland. (lindependant.fr, 23 Jun 2018)
Impairment
She began experiencing medical issues in 2000 but doctors were unable to identify the problem. Then, two years later, she awoke one morning with paralysis in her legs and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. (sans-filtre.fr, 20 Sep 2018; lequipe.fr, 15 Mar 2016)
Other information
LIVING WITH MS
She considers her impairment her biggest rival in her career as it can affect her condition during the day. “My biggest enemy is my multiple sclerosis because I don't know how I will wake up tomorrow. I'm not the same at nine, at 10:00, at 11:00, and at 14:00. It's the nerve system so it changes when I'm tired, when I'm upset, when it's cold. But it's my life. I have to always improve my level and I have to fight against my disability. [Sport] helps my mind, my ability to stay strong, but it's also tiring for my body.” (paralympic.org, 29 May 2020)

FAST TRACK TO SOCHI
In December 2013 she was introduced to French Para snowboarder Patrice Barratero at an awards ceremony, which inspired her to try the sport for the first time. A few days later she received a phone call from the coach of the French national team, who said he would like to test her. She tried out the sport over the Christmas period, with mixed results, and was then informed in January 2014 that a final test would be at a World Cup event in Colorado, United States of America, that month. She finished fourth, and was told the national federation would try to enter her into the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. Although she was not on the initial list of athletes that would be participating at the Games, the French federation requested special dispensation for her and she was named in the team on 11 February 2014. She went on to win a silver medal in snowboard cross in Sochi, three months after taking up the sport. "I arrived in Sochi without putting pressure on myself. I was coming out of nowhere, I had not trained much. I arrived with the carefree motivation of a beginner. I did not know anything and I was there just to have fun." (sans-filtre.fr, 20 Sep 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She has worked as a commentator for the French radio station Europe 1, and as a journalist for French newspaper Le Figaro. (sans-filtre.fr, 20 Sep 2018; dicodusport.fr, 01 Oct 2017; douane.gouv.fr, 20 Jan 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
2 2014/2015 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
1 2014/2015 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:39.76
2 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
2 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:18.94
1 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 57.94
1 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
1 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross Team Event  
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2014 Snowboardcross - Standing 2:07.31
3 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
2 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 56.53
World Cup Finals
Rank Year Event Result
1 2015/2016 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
1 2015/2016 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
1 2015/2016 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired 1:11.86
1 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 1 Impaired  
2 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 1 Impaired