When celebrating a victory brings people together - Maxicours

When celebrating a victory brings people together

Objectif
  • Découvrir un aspect de la notion « Sports et société ».
Points clés
  • Bien au-delà de ses bienfaits sur le corps et l’esprit, le sport rassemble les gens.
  • La victoire d’un sportif, d’une sportive ou d’une équipe nationale peut avoir un effet, non seulement sur le bonheur des supporteurs et supportrices, mais aussi sur la politique et l’économie du pays.
  • La Coupe du monde de 1998, et plus récemment celle de 2018, a réuni tous les Français et toutes les Françaises, de toutes couleurs de peau et de toutes religions, autour de la victoire de l’équipe masculine de football.
1. Introduction

As you know, sport conveys lots of positive values. Indeed, everybody knows that it is good for health, it is a social vector and it helps letting off steam as well.

To let off steam : to rid of one’s energy, anger, or strong emotions with physical activity or by behaving in a noisy or violent way.

But did you know that it has another quality ? It can bring millions of people together after the significant victory of a state or national team.

Example
When Denver won Super Bowl 50 in 2016, one million people gathered downtown and congratulated the Broncos.

What about the final victory of the France football team in the World Cup in 1998 ? Let’s see !

2. A jubilant crowd

In the France of 1998, when the Bleus won the FIFA World Cup for the very first time, one million people took it to the streets and paraded with the players on 13th July, the day after the victory.
The players and their supporters had already celebrated the victory over Brazil the night before at 11 pm, after the referee had blown the whistle, shortly after France’s third goal. One million people waving the tricolor flag, honking horns, singing La Marseillaise, crying...

Such an exuberant night and the pleasure of being on top of the world, at last ! Bars and pubs were so crammed that people decided to join the crowd on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The people who had driven there had to stop as supporters climbed onto the cars or rocked them back and forth ! Even the Arc de Triomphe was used to celebrate the victory ; lasers proclaimed “ Merci les Bleus ! ”

The most beautiful avenue in the world was filled with ecstatic people celebrating their heroes, just as they had 53 years before when Paris was freed from the German occupation (August 26, 1944). It was the first time France had won the prestigious competition and the celebration met with the expectations.

3. A political victory

At that time, the extreme right-wing Front National got 15 % of the votes in France and promised to send back home a great number of foreign immigrants.
Yet, on 12th July and for months afterwards, France was no longer “ Bleu, Blanc, Rouge ” but “ Black, Blanc, Beur ! ” (Beur means in backward-slang “ Arab ”), just like the team whose leader was the algerian Zinedine Zidane who scored two goals that night. His teammates had their roots in Africa, Armenia, Italy, and so on, and symbolized integration.

This is another victory, even if it did not last very long. Blacks, Whites, Arabs, Christians and Muslims were united under the same tricolor flag and celebrated the same heroes. That night, sport was stronger than politics and humanism took precedence over bigotry and racism.

Bigotry : possession or expression of strong, unreasonable prejudices or opinions.
4. An economic victory

After the victory, French Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6 % in the months that followed. France’s win boosted the economy. People were pleased and consequently consumed more easily.

If 380 million euros were spent on the organization of the event, 427 million were gained. Sales of TV sets multiplied in spring and in the months following the triumph of Aimé Jacquet’s boys.

Tourism was impacted, too. People from all over the world came to visit the country that was on top of the world.

Economists advanced that 1 € invested during the World Cup could pay off 3 €.

5. Conclusion

As explained above, a great win in sport is extremely positive in different sectors and can change the mentalities. It is always celebrated by enthusiast fans who mix together regardless of social status, religion or skin colour but it is also politically and economically good for a country.

More recently, in 2018, the French football team won the FIFA World Cup for the second time of its history. Just as in 1998, people have paraded on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and all together without any consideration for the skin colour, they have celebrated the victory of a mixed-race team.

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