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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

French sports minister Valérie Fourneyron's latest sporting gaffe

The French sports minister, Valérie Fourneyron, has proven herself once again to be a true expert in her governmental portfolio.

Valérie Fourneyron (screenshot Public Sénat TV)
 Now you would think she might have learned her lesson from her Olympic gaffe last year.

Remember how Fourneyron appeared on (French) television during the games in London to outline the vast range of events from which there were to choose as she "entertained" this country's president, François Hollande, during his visit?

So "on the ball" (to use an inappropriate sporting chliché) was Fourneyron that she managed to muddle fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic's discipline...deciding she could best be seen on the tatami.

An easy mistake to make as Flessel-Colovic had previously only won five Olympic and 12 World Championship medals and, in London, was France's official flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

Well, the woman with a background in sports medicine, and therefore clearly with her finger on the proverbial pulse of her governmental portfolio, chose at the weekend "to boldly go" (let's split the infinitive in time-honoured Star Trek tradition) where no right-thinking minister should choose to go - Twitter.

Yes, Fourneyron plumped for social networking to congratulate France's only gold medallist at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, triple jumper Teddy Tamgho.

The only problem was that emotions clearly got the better of the minister as she tweeted her excitement.

"Thierry Tamgho won the first gold medal at the Athletics World Championships," she tweeted.

"A breathtaking performance."

Teddy Tamgho, World Championship triple jump gold medallist, Moscow 2013 (screenshot France Télevisions)

Er "Non, mais allô quoi" to quote that great French ("celebrity") commentator of our times, Nabilla Benattia.

Thierry Tamgho?

Who's that then, Teddy's twin brother.

Teddy Tamgho, World Championship triple jump gold medallist, Moscow 2013 (screenshot France Télevisions)
Fourneyron realised her clavis...but not in time to prevent a flurry of Tweets poking fun at her mistake.

Now what gems could Fourneyron have in store for us next year should France qualify for the World Cup (soccer this time) in Brazil? That's if she's still in the post of course.

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