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At 102, this former resistance fighter will carry the Olympic flame to continue her fight

At 102 years old, his fight is not over.

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At 102, this former resistance fighter will carry the Olympic flame to continue her fight

At 102 years old, his fight is not over. Mélanie Berger-Volle has been selected to carry the Olympic flame to Saint-Étienne on June 22.

This resistance fighter during the Occupation still cannot believe having been chosen by the Loire department and the town hall of Saint-Étienne. The weight of the torch worried him a little, but there was no question of refusing. “I have always loved sport,” explains this slender woman, who until recently walked for an hour every day.

This former resistance fighter was born in Austria in 1921 into a Jewish working-class family. From her adolescence, she became involved in politics to fight “against dictatorships”. After the annexation of her country by Nazi Germany in 1938, she joined France in 1939, disguised as a boy.

In 1942, she was arrested and imprisoned while involved in a group of Trotskyist militants. Tortured, she managed to escape and continued her fight until the Liberation. The Olympic flame bearer received multiple decorations, including the Legion of Honor.

The Olympic lazy relay will be an opportunity for the centenary to resonate a message of friendship between peoples. “The Olympics are a great time to get to know other human beings,” she proclaims. Today she is very worried about the return of extremes in Europe and hopes that young people will in turn know how to defend democracy.

She also wants to be a symbol for women “who fought to play sports like men”. Mélanie Berger-Volle is the grandmother of gymnast Emilie Volle, who participated in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

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