Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No, I am pleased- despite what the Samizdatas say (caution: the main headline is very short and Anglo-Saxon). The truth is I don't live in London and I won't be likely to pay very much for it in money or infrastructural frustration, so Olympics 2012 should be a lot of fun- probably only on the TV, but with recognisable surroundings and more celeb-watching (ok someone will tell me I'll pay for it through the tax burden and that might be true, but I think actually that if any country's capital city can beat the financial blues of the Olympics it's Britain's... and besides, the deeper side of me says that six years is enough time for anything to happen). Anyway, I watched Daley Thompson from the comfort of our living room in my jim jams in 1984 and it was electrifying, so there's some history to my feelings about the Olympics.

Yes, it will annoy Chirac- and it no doubt already has, though the red glow of embarrassment will linger amusingly. Chirac's response according to the BBC has already given me a couple of chuckles. I suppose the line '"He wishes good luck and full success to the British authorities and people in the organisation of the 30th Olympiad." ' seemed somewhat underwhelming. Maybe the translation 'full success' just sounds a bit odd to Anglo ears- or maybe it's intended to sound off-key (I mean does he mean the best we can do, or actually outright success? I'd have been happier with 'all the best'. Such can be the wily use of the French language I always look for whether the Frenchman bothers to use a phrase that can be unambiguous in the English language as well as the French. He could have said that he hopes we enjoy it- the Games I mean not just the 'organisation'- but then again maybe it's the BBC's selection of quotes. You never can trust them; their idea of patriotism can be indulging in international Punch and Judy).

Barroso's incredible political imitation of constipation in praising 'an EU capital' also made me laugh. (Barroso's and other responses here.)

The funniest part though was undoubtedly Chirac having 'praised the "fair play" shown by the French bid team.' How very British! And not only that: it's what we say when the Aussies beat us, implying that all is not well in the antipodean moral garden. Of course it could be true that the Olympic committee have found comfortable places in Seb Coe's pocket or that the French were only caught out in the slips after some vicious sledging- but er, that's cricket! Yippeddee doo da!

More Chirakian responses, plus other fine French whines, tucked away in BBC Sport, here.

Meanwhile, for any Francophiles out there who need cheering up, you could always try googling 'French Military Victories' and follow the link there for a really encouraging read.

Google Custom Search