Americans like to take pride in their refusal to take time off, but yesterday, French woman Virginie Razzano gave the American work ethic a serious run for its money: The French tennis player competed in the French open just eight days after her fiancee passed away. Her story is sad, but inspiring all the same: Her trainer and partner, Stephane Vidal, died after a nine-year battle with cancer, and she played as a tribute to his memory:
It was really hard to come on the court, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of pain. That pain will always be there. I tried to make a tribute to Stephane. It was mission impossible but I gave my all.
She was defeated by Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova, but she played the full, tearful game before discussing her loss at the post-match news conference:
I feel lonely, I feel lost. I have beautiful memories in good times and not so good times. That’s a history which is alive, that we built for 11 years.
Most people might find it nearly impossible to exercise, let alone compete, in the wake of their fiance’s death. Razzano’s determination and strength is inspiring, to say the least. She’s a female athlete that we can look up to for a lot more than her toned arms and tennis scores.