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LONDON: English singer Lily Allen loves Bert le Clos. The BBC loves Bert le Clos. Michael Vaughan loves Bert le Clos. Bert le Clos loves Chad le Clos. Bert le Clos loves Great Britain. And swimming. It’s a Le Clos love fest.
Allen, who released two fine records before she headed off to get married and have babies, was sitting right in front of Bert (advisory: for the purposes of this column, we forgo the style of my newspaper and go with first names of the Le Clos family. As you read this know that you have been responsible for the heads of subs exploding in offices all over the country) looked around to see a man with a red face and a green and gold heart screaming, crying and blubbing.
“Wow de Clos’s dad on the seat behind me. Lots of tears here. He just said he could die now,” tweeted Allen from the Aquatic Park. Grace Dent, a journalist with The Independent in London, tweeted, “yesterday’s loveliest thing: Bert Le Clos and Clare Balding,” and included a link to the interview the BBC’s Balding had done with Bert (http://t.co/AlyeQTC4). Allen replied to her: “@gracedent he was sitting in the seat RIGHT behind me. Went totally Fray Bentos, we were all blubbing.” Dent told her she was in love: From: “@lilyrosecooper “i love him, LOOK AT HIM he’s booooootiful!!’ *wipes face on sofa*”. Gosh.
Bert made Lily Allen cry. Chad made Ryk Neethling cry. Neethling, who is in London working for SuperSport, was standing on the camera platform during the race as he didn’t have a seat. He didn’t need one. He jumped up and down, he screamed. If you saw shaky pictures from one camera then that was Neethling going bonkers.
“I cried, I was going crazy,” Neethling told me later after he had given me one of those manly hugs that men give each other when they are interested in girls and not each other at all. I mean, heck, I’m pretty and all, but he’s too tall for me. We’d hugged on Sunday night as well after Cameron van der Burgh had torn the 100m breaststroke world record a new one. It was a huggy love fest beside the pool this week.
The French apparently do not love the British, or, more, exactly, the English. The Times reported that to the French media the Olympics “are proof of the host nation’s decline from its glorious colonial past”. And there we Africans were thinking that was a good thing. Beware Senegal, the French may be coming back one of these days with an offer to purchase.
“What has followed (the opening ceremony, which the French all liked) has been a little less chic and had a little less class.
“The Olympic Park resembles a theme park. It’s not very pretty and you sense that a lot of it is going to be taken down afterwards,” wrote Fabrice Jouhaud, the managing director of L’Equipe, the French sports daily, who showed why managers of newspapers should not be seen nor heard.
Someone had better tell Bert le Clos, that the French from whence he gets his surname, do not like the London Games. He put it simply: “Thank you Great Britain.” That’s about right.