The New France and the Olympics

parisdiaHappy moments, History1 Comment

No majority came out of the vote on Sunday! It looks like there will boo new government for a fortnight

It has been a rule in the past that when Great Britain turns to the Tories, France elects a socialist government (Thatcher/Mitterrand), (Blair/Chirac) (Gordon Brown/ Sarkozy) and in this case, the Labor Sir Keir Starmer, elected in a landslide last Thursday has given us the worst fears as to the future majority of the Front National (Le Pen) over Le Nouveau Front Populaire, the French alliance of the left.  Well this time, it did no happen and the alliance made up of very diverse left parties came out with a relative majority. For me the great winner was the young Prime Minister Gabriel Attal who gave a moving speech on Sunday night mentioning that ” I have not chosen this dissolution but I refuse to be a victim of it”. He was reelected as MP and legally has to resign today.  But he could be kept by the President until after the Olympic Games. The alliances between the presidential majority and the left worked efficiently to bar the RN of Marine Le Pen, whose elder sister was beaten in the Sarthe by 300 votes. Her party remains the strongest in France. At 5 pm on Sunday, we were still hoping for a center left majority and all we knew is that close to 70% of the electors would turn up.

Keir Starmer with his beautiful wife Victoria and his old friend an colleague Edward Fitgerrald on the left

Former minister of Finance, Bruno le Maire is giving up politics for now and will resume writing novels and probably work for an International Economic forum. The Prime Minister Gabriel Attal will seek leadership of Macron’s party Renaissance while his arch-enemy, Minister of Interior Gérald Darmanin, also has electoral ambitions. Elisabeth Borne, the former Prime minister was reelected and so was Eric Woerth, the député of Chantilly, thank God! and there were many more good surprises. Sunday night was not the traumatic evening we were getting ready for.  And champagne was drunk. Now we can concentrate on the Olympics.

It was a funny coincidence that I went to the Press conference last week at Paris 2024, the headquarters  of the Olympics in Saint Denis (on the border of Aubervilliers), and the subway station was called Front Populaire, a celebration of Leon Blum’s socialist government of 1936… With the Olympic Games starting on July 26 th, everyone in the government is in disarray, half of the Parisians have fled and negotiated to work from their holiday homes, leaving the capital empty. What will happen with the new ministers? They will probably stay for now until the new Assemblée elects its president on July 18.

Tony Estanguet, three times Gold medalist in canoe kayak, runs the Olympics

It was quite extraordinary to spend an hour with the former Olympic champion with three gold medals in three different Olympiads, Tony Estanguet, who runs Paris 2024, and Brice Guyart, twice gold medalist in fencing in Sydney and in Athens, who is senior manager of the athletes. He created a Parc des Champions which will take place in the gardens of the Trocadéro from 29 July to August 10. It is free and will hold 13 000 visitors (5 000 sitting down). The point is to get all the winners of an Olympic medal to come and meet their public the day after. And they can bring three other athletes with them.  Guyart said in a very moving way, how lonely it felt after the victory, and how the athletes all yearned for a contact with the public. At Parc des Champions, people will  be allowed to drink beer and champagne, there will be a D.J. and constant animation from 4 pm to 11.30 pm.

Brice Guyart, twice gold medal in the Olympics for fencing, organized Parc des Champions for the 1 200 “medaled” athletes

On August 9, a ceremony for the Olympic medal reallocation process will take place for the “clean” athletes who did not get their medals in the past. The cultural program includes Angelin Preljocaj who will have his company dance three times for fifteen minutes during the opening of the Park, Vinii Revlon who introduces “Voguing” into the Olympics and will perform all summer at the Gaîté Lyrique with his Paris Sports Ball. The third dancer is Mourad Merzouki, a hip hop dancer who also created choreographies for the artistic swimming competitions.

Vinii Revlon with Dominique Hervieu is one of the three dancers who will perform at the Parc des Champions in the Jardins du Trocadero and introduce Voguing to th Games

Share this Post

One Comment on “The New France and the Olympics”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *