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French press review 4 August 2012

Text by: William Niba
4 min

The two gold medals won by Judoka Teddy Riner and swimmer Florent Manaudou at the London, Olympic Games are the big stories on this morning’s French papers.


The sports daily L’Equipe has photographs of the two heroes, standing side by side, splashed across its front page with the caption "resounding joy, spicing a high moment of victory."

London Olympic Games 2012

“Right down the middle, impeccable Teddy Riner” screams the paper, recalling that the tears of defeat flowing down the cheeks of the show man in Beijing four years ago have been wiped out and his dream accomplished as Riner becomes the Olympic Judo champion in the 100 kg category.

Riner has the 50 metres free style swimming gold medallist Florent Manaudou right by his side, his sister Laure who also took gold in the women’s swimming event in Beijing watching in deep admiration.

« The day of Gold » crows Libération which also put up photographs of the two Olympic champions’ beaming faces of its front page.

“Herculean grace”, headlines the regional newspaper Sud Ouest. The publication points to two character traits which it says have made Teddy Riner tremendously charming: personality and natural smile and the frightfully look of a strong fighter feared and revered through out the world.

« Teddy Riner, Alias TR, shouts La Montagne. According to the paper he is really as heavy as gold, something absolutely stunning for a young lad who has just turned 23 who can now relax and give time to “justified “Rinermania” to spread around.

Riner had won everything but what remained was the “Olympic Graal” he finally collected from London on Friday, according to Le Journal de la Haute-Marne.

“The Gaulic rooster can now perk up its comb” writes Le Républicain lorrain underlining that there is a note of “historical revenge” as the French national anthem La Marseillaise is resounding almost everyday in the homeland of Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo.

Le Maine Libre looks beyond the medal celebration ceremonies mark the end of each event at the Games. “The Olympic movement is a myth”, says the paper, “not the games themselves, but the Olympic spirit, which seeks to incarnate the immaculate flag and the multi-coloured Olympic rings of universal harmony”.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

The leading newspaper in the Maine region picks out what it claims are a few “inglorious episodes” that should get our heads out of the clouds – the “deliberate crash” which enabled the British cycling team to win gold in the speed circuit event, the “unsporting conduct” of a Chinese two South Koreans and an Indonesian in the Badminton event which caused their disgrace and subsequent expulsion from the Games.

Life has been given a golden glow comments Le Progrès de Lyon, the paper warning that the surprise victories have precipitated the French into the notorious vice of national arrogance and chauvinism. The paper says that while people are basking in the feel good spirit and hope generated by the tri-colour flag in London, they should not forget we are in times of crisis -- looming economic recession at home and the Syrian war abroad.

Le Figaro warns” there will be no miracle” and that the crisis will not evaporate in the mugginess of the summer. According to the conservative newspaper "Super Mario", as the European Central Bank chief is knick-named, has no magic wand to spare Europe of a restless summer

Le Monde regrets the resignation of Kofi Annan the UN-Arab League mediator of the Syrian crisis. “He cannot be blamed, for throwing in the towel” says the paper. His resignation has “put an end to an illusion” comments Le Monde, the fact that “it will take a long while before diplomacy will have any impact on the Syrian crisis”.

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