- Carol Anne Chenard has umpired in two World championships and olympic
- Was previously a figure skater professional speed
- Because of the cancer, Chenard lost France 2019
Skaters at 50km per hour taking the race curves impossible, crashing into the fences, sometimes suffering injuries with the sharp blades on the sliding on the ice… “What I see on the tv and I don’t think so. It’s crazy this sport,” says Carol Anne at FIFA.com. “To do that you must be completely nuts”. Not without his grace that he say so, since the canadian was figure skater professional speedwon six medals at the World Championship and arrived to match a record in the world.
“I was part of the national team almost five years”explains Chenard. “What I liked, despite the fact that it is an individual sport, it was all the team work and training we did together. That camaraderie we pushing everyone to raise the bar. Some of my best memories are the Championships in which I participated. We were a team of ten athletes, five men and five women, who were competing together for three weeks.”
“The speed skating short track is a test very exciting. For the tele you already see that it is very exciting, but if you can attend in person at the track, you realize how fast they’re going and what’s closed are the curves. The adrenaline shoots”.
From ice rinks to football pitches
After years in the speed skating world, so full of adrenaline, Carol Anne gave a turn of 180 degrees and chose another profession and not suitable for anyone: it’s the arbitration!
“I grew up playing football, basketball and volleyball,” says Chenard. “And when I was very young, I started in skating, and competitive swimming. I recognized my limitations for the football and cifré my aspirations athletic in the speed skating”.
“I continued playing soccer for fun and, one day, the coach of my team and forced us all to follow a course of arbitration to understand better the Rules of the Game. So I started refereeing in the football league base”.
“I couldn’t imagine even for a moment that those first steps would get me to a second career. However, a person of the league wrote to the federation to request that someone come to observe my work. I started to fall in love with the arbitration. When my career in skating came to an end, I was looking for a way to continue working in high-level sport, to continue traveling, and the arbitration of a football, it seemed like the more appropriate option”.
“If I had asked 20 years ago if I wanted to become a referee of the FIFA… Who would want to do that? It’s crazy, you grind cries continuously. However, I became a referee by FIFA in 2006”. Chenard was not long in ascending, and was soon umpiring in the women’s World 2011 and the Olympic Tournament in London 2012. You will then be presented with the opportunity of beeping games in their country, in Canada 2015.
“To arbitrate in a World in any part is awesome: the atmosphere and the impression of stepping onto a field of play of a World are something completely different to everything. But to that you add that you are in your country and that the first match of the World cup that arbitré was played in Ottawa, the city in which I live, with friends and family, and even to people who I didn’t even know I had gone to see the matches.”
“I had the opportunity to share my passion with friends and colleagues, but also it was a wonderful occasion to show the world what a great country is to Canada and what football fans most magnificent we have. For me the experience was really fantastic.”
A stone in the road
Chenard, who also works in the federal Government of Canadain the team that is drafting and amending the legislation on drugs, was on the point of refereeing in her third World female, France 2019when it came disaster in the form of a cancer.
“I was diagnosed four days before the date of departure for France,” he explains. “A cancer diagnosis scares a lot at any time, but what I most disliked was having to miss the trip to France. It was one of the first questions I asked my doctor: ‘Can we delay it all about five or six weeks so that you can go to France?’. I answered categorically that neither dream”.
“I was on chemotherapy the day of the inauguration of that World, but I was on him in spirit as a hobbyist and as a referee. It was my colleagues, and we had invested so much work in the previous four years to the World that he wanted to be his biggest follower, even though it might not be physically with them.”
“After I was able to go to France to see the grand finale and to encourage them in person. I am still in treatment, but I find myself really well.”
A witness is privileged
“I have had the luck of umpiring to players of the likes of Birgit Prinz, Marta, Alex Morgan or Abby Wambach. My first youth competition was the Women’s World Sub-20, 2008. Pité the Argentina-France, and I can assure you that Eugenie Le Sommer had a huge talent”.
“Refereeing is a lot like occupy the best location of the stadium. In the last 15 years, I felt privileged to have been given the opportunity to share the pitch with the best of the best”.
“In addition, become one of the seven árbitras that participated in the fifa u-17 male of 2017 was a distinction really unexpected. I had the pleasure of being part of the competition [como árbitra asistente] and see Esther Staubli to arbitrate a party”.
“I’ve been lucky enough to participate in competitions that have forever changed the football and see how it has evolved the sport. My preparation for my first World cup in 2011 and the that I went to France to 2019 were very, very different. There are now many more opportunities, training camps and investment’.
“The árbitras we have always said that we don’t want you to consider in terms of men or women, but as officers of the football. I think we have begun to see that this is happening.”