Late in the day on Tuesday, hundreds of participants in the French military judo championship gathered at the cemetery of La Ferté-Masse (Orne) to meditate and pay tribute to the memory of Mélanie Leme, a police officer who died in the line of duty. . Almost two years after the tragedy, the organizers wanted to schedule the current action during this Wednesday in the city of origin of the young woman. There, she discovered judo, which then led her to international podiums.
His life changed on the evening of July 4, 2020. At around 20:50 in department 813, near Porte Sainte Marie (Lot-et-Garonne), an intervention device was deployed to intercept a vehicle that had refused to pass several tests. checks. Arriving at high speed, the driver turns left and suddenly hits Melanie Leme, who is standing on the edge of the road. A few minutes later, at the age of 25, she will die from her injuries.
“He was a willing, caring, kind, respectful person”
The investigation will then establish that the young driver, detained on the spot and known to the police, was driving without a license at a speed of more than 130 km / h, while under the influence of drugs and with him. He has been charged with “deliberately killing a person holding public office” and faces a life sentence. “The judicial investigation should be completed, in all likelihood, before the end of the year,” let us know Agen parquet.
The disappearance of the gendarme caused a shock not only in his corporation, paying tribute to the state elite, but also in the world of sports. Teddy Riner, in particular, paid tribute to his memory on social media. Or even him “sister in arms” Clarissa Agbenenow, the tatami policewoman herself. The latter must also be present at the competition. “I did not know him personally, but this tragedy touched all of us. We shared the same hobbies. It is important to come together to pay tribute to him and warm the hearts of his family.” evidenced by the two-time Olympic champion.
Daniel and Christian Leme, parents, are also present at the event. “We are very sensitive to such a tribute, they trust, with all dignity. Our daughter is not forgotten, and this warms us. » After listening to her relatives, former colleagues and combat partners, Melanie Leme was unanimously appreciated. “He was determined, caring, kind, respectful, lists Fabrice Guillet, coach of the French military team and author of this special issue. His dynamism, confidence and experience gave confidence to the whole team. »
Sports figured prominently in his daily life. “She was passionate and had a real sports culture. She tried to discover many activities and two remained: judo, for the most part, and handball, on the side. tell your parents. Judo has been with her since the age of 5 and has never left her, taking her to the sport in high school and all the way to Insepa in 2014. But a serious knee injury in training broke her trajectory.
Bronze medal of the world under the military banner
Parents summarize: “It was this accident that brought her to the gendarmerie. She was already a reservist and took advantage of her recovery to prepare for the competition. » Judo and her art of ippon didn’t get very far as she continued to fight under the military banner, winning two French titles (2016, 2018) and a world bronze medal (2016) with a tricolor choice on her list.
“Without injury, she was programmed to be a future great champion. She was aimed at a very high level, with the same potential as Romane Diko. (individual bronze and team gold at the Tokyo Olympics), illustrated by Fabrice Gilly. She finally knew how to use this new chance with the army. »
” However, extend Daniel and Christian Leme, she remained very modest when she could have put on a large head. Her strength lay in knowing how to unite around her. She trained and pulled people both in the family and at work. That’s what everyone told us. » And she was glad that she had found values common to her profession and her passion.
Melanie Leme in uniform. (DR)
Major Alexa Cami, commander of the Eguillon detachment, who was on duty at the time of the events and is still present, calls “totally exceptional person”, “with values that are very rare among new generations”. “Exemplary defines him at all levels. She left behind a void that will never be filled. »
As the conversation progresses, the parents reminisce about those evenings spent at the dojo, or even the whole weekend freed up to cross France and take him to tournaments. “We have invested financial, material and time resources. But this is what she wanted. »
With this in mind, her family created the “Mélanie Passion Sports” association to continue to honor her memory and share it with others. “We donated the funds raised by the national kitten. The idea is to facilitate access to high level practice and help families in the area who are less financially secure. Always in the spirit of what our daughter would do. »