Mad as a cut snake page!!
By Meredith and Bernard.

August 4th 2001 - page 6.

The I.O.C. choice : It's China ??!
-China is going to host the 2008 Olympic Games... why not? The most populated country, the last communist system, the China of Tian An Men, the China who doesn't know what freedom is, the China who will sacrifice pile of children to prepare a strong and fascinating artistic gymnastics team.
We both lived a wonderful dream during the Sydney Games, with a whole freedom, our common memories are now engraved on our hearts, our souls. Sports events we attended, places we visited, we were absolutely free, even to share the blue night soft stroke near a small and famous Sydney beach.
We are sure the people who are going to attend the 2008 Games will meet some strange difficulties, not really serious but real ones. Is it possible to see a Chinese receiving and hosting during three weeks a French male or Aussie female without beeing suspected of subversive behaviour??
Remember the Chinese police is able to arrest and judge people only to have participated in Internet Chats and Forums in the goal to disparage the China government...!?
We both hope sports will be the essential time of the 2008 Olympics, but we are really afraid by the possible backgrounds, the other side of the Peking Games.
Critical test for the women French team in Tunis.
Tunis (Tunisia) is receiving the Mediterranean Games from September 2nd to 15th. Gymnastics is going to give us a real fascinating time with the rivalry between Spain, Italy and France.
France must quickly get some international results, after the retirement of the stars (Teza, Volle, ... , the Furnon mysterious gym career since her last year European title on Floor), the insufficient results far from the home competitions, some disappointed results against Spain, the failure at the Riesa gym promoting 'show' meet in Germany...
Spain, the rising team, good seniors and promising juniors, with Esther Moya, Marta Cusido, Sarah Moro, Laura Martinez, the Spanish girls are the prime pretenders for the title. Italy can even pretend to the silver medal and the French team will have to be well prepared, on a top shape to hope a better rank than the third one.
Many promising results on the junior events in 99 and 2000 (well, it's a bit usual for the French girls), now it's time to show similar level on senior International competitions. On past years, Karine Mermet, Elodie Lussac, Laetitia Begue, Elvire Teza were some of the best juniors of Europa. Ludivine Furnon and Isabelle Severino (and maybe the pretty Cecile Canqueteau) were the only who entered the first elite ranks. Having talented juniors is important in gymnastics, but also it's more important to prepare a successful transition towards the elite senior level.
We remember eulogistic words about girls like Ramassamy, Soler, Ruffato, Degny when they competed in junior level, and finally they did a strong gym career but not really near the best World competitors. We hope History will change for the talented Marlene Peron, Marion Mourier and Estelle Courivaud... the best French juniors of 99 and 2000.
Good luck young French gymnasts, give us a nice and good surprise. We rely on you.

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