She had often been cited for the position. Amélie Oudéa-Castera was appointed to the Ministry of Sports, the Olympic and Paralympic Games on Friday May 20. Director General of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) when Gilles Moretton won the election in 2021, she will therefore release the little yellow ball, even as the Roland-Garros tournament begins on Sunday.
HAS 44 years old, she has a hybrid profile combining sport and high public service. Franceinfo: sport tells you more about this discreet personality, who will become one of the most influential people in French sport.
A short career at the highest level
The little yellow ball has always been part of Amélie Oudéa-Castéra’s life. More than just a hobby, her practice of tennis has led her to a high-level career. The Parisian has distinguished herself above all in youth competitions, winning the Orange Bowl minimes (which brings together the world’s best in this age category), reaching the junior semi-finals of the US Open (1993) then Wimbledon and Roland Garros (1994). The Parisian tournament constitutes a kind of common thread for the destiny of “AOC”, which disputed the 1994 edition among seniors.
Ranked 251st player in the world in 1995 (at best, 18th in France), she ended her career a year later, barely reaching majority. His last game? “It was a double with Amélie Mauresmo, she told the Echoes in May 2021. We’ve lost. I immediately decided to prepare for the entrance exam to Sciences Po. I knew that I would not be one of the best players.”
A multi-diploma senior civil servant
Received at Sciences Po, Amélie Oudéa-Castera then obtained a master’s degree in law and then a Master’s degree at the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales. She was immediately admitted to the ENA, following in the footsteps of a father himself an enarque.
In Strasbourg, she rubbed shoulders with a certain Emmanuel Macron in the Léopold Sédar Senghor promotion before starting her professional career at the Court of Auditors in 2004. But her career did not confine her to the public sector.
Approached to lead the National Sports Agency
Navigating between the public and the private sector, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra occupies strategic roles at AXA and then at Carrefour (from where she left in March). Her career in e-commerce allows her to be elected, in 2020, “Digital Woman” of the year.
Eager to get closer to her first love, she joined the Sport dans la ville association in 2016, which helps young people in priority neighborhoods. In 2018, she created the Rénovons le sport français association, of which she is still the president.
In 2018, she was even approached to lead the brand new National Sports Agency. The former tennis player is declining due to her role in retail. She would have shared the post with … Jean Castex.
close to power
If Laura Flessel was preferred to him in 2017 in the first government of Edouard Philippe, Oudéa-Castera had already been approached to become Minister of Sports after the election of Emmanuel Macron. His proximity to power was visible on June 11, 2021 at Roland-Garros. Remember: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal fought an anthology in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros (finally won by the Serb), temporarily interrupted by the curfew then set at 11 p.m. so that the spectators evacuated the premises.
Earthquake with the elimination of Rafael Nadal by Novak Djokovic after four sets of incredible intensity… in front of a present and conquered public. The final will pit world No. 1 against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday #Roland Garros (3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in 4h11) pic.twitter.com/oeXYDy9upV
— francetvsport (@francetvsport) June 11, 2021
If the public finally obtained a derogation to attend the shock, Amélie Oudéa-Castera is no stranger to it. Then director general of the FFT, “in permanent contact with the Élysée and Matignon, [elle] got permission somewhat at the last minute to continue”revealed Giles Moretton, president of the FFT on RMC Sport.
The public, who ironically chanted “thank you Macron!” in the aftermath, was not, then, aware of the role played by this woman in the shadows, now in full light.