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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

France's sports minister, Valérie Fourneyron makes an Olympic gaffe

Oh happy days.

Finally a minister has shown that she's every bit as "normal" as her predecessors from the previous government by proving that she too can come up with the appropriate howler when needed.

It's the sports minister Valérie Fourneyron, whose portfolio has known some of the very best - or worst, depending on how you view these things - slip ups from those clearly not at ease in the job such as the pink croc-wearing Roselyne Bachelot and her much-loved (although not by Bachelot) sidekick Rama Yade to the former judoka and expert neologist David Douillet.

Valérie Fourneyron (screenshot France 2 television)

And that's quite a decent segue into how Fourneyron made a complete ass of herself in front of millions of TV viewers early Monday morning.

She was appearing on France 2 television outlining what the programme would be for her and her big boss, the French president François Hollande, who would be joining her for the day at the London 2012 games.

"We'll want to be able to see all sorts of different sports," she said, no doubt surprising viewers that the Olympics provided such an opportunity.

"It could be boxing or it could be judo to see Laura Flessel, our country's flag bearer at the opening ceremony who'll be appearing in her fifth games," she continued.

"Perhaps we'll get a chance to see the French women's basketball team in action, a handball game, boxing (do you think she maybe has a thing about boxing?)'ll be a programme full of sport," she finished with a flourish.


Wait a moment.

Do you spot the error.

Just a teensy-weensy one mind you.

Laura Flessel, a double gold medallist in Atlanta back in 1996, who also competed in Sydney, Athens and Beijing collecting a further three medals along the way, now 40 years old and appearing at her fifth and final Olympics as Fourneyron correctly said.

Except Flessel is not a judoka.

Nope. The sport for which Flessel, the spokesperson for the French team during London 2O12, the five-time Olympic medallist and 12-time World Championship medallist, is famous is... fencing.

Oh well. How was Fourneyron, whose background is rich in sports medicine, supposed to know.

It's such a simple mistake to make after all and one which the minister put down later to, "An early morning slip of the tongue."

"I know Laura Flessel well. I spent a good part of the Friday with her," she said.

Presumably grappling on the tatami.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh dear... doesn't she have assistants that prepare in advance what she's suppose to say?

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