Olympic Dreams Shattered: Eunice Barber Attacked on Paris Suburban Train During Transportation to Olympic Host City

Former world athletics champion Barber assaulted on Paris train

In July 2021, former world heptathlon champion Eunice Barber was attacked on a Paris suburban train. The Sierra Leonean-born French athlete was punched in the face by a drunken passenger who had been speaking loudly on his phone during the journey from Franconville, 17km north-west of Paris, into the city. According to a police source, Barber received two blows to the face and sustained a slight injury to her right cheekbone.

Barber, who is known for her impressive record in track and field events and has won five world medals, including gold at the 1999 world heptathlon in Seville and the long jump title at the 2003 world championships in Paris, filed a complaint with police after the incident. The attacker was arrested when the train arrived at its destination at Gare du Nord station in central Paris.

Despite this traumatic experience, Barber remains resilient and determined to pursue justice for the assault she faced. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up against such acts of violence and ensuring the safety of all individuals, regardless of their status or achievements. As Paris prepares to host the Summer Olympics from July 26 to August 11, it is crucial that we prioritize safety and security for all athletes and spectators involved.

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