1 Her son is a champion swimmer – Hidalgo, 62, is married with three adult children. Her youngest son, Arthur Germain, has won fame for his endurance swimming exploits.
He’s the youngest Frenchman to have ever swum the Channel and last year he swam the entire length of the river Seine – 780km from its source near Dijon, through Paris and out to Le Havre, completing scientific sampling of water quality along the way.
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2 She was born in Spain – perhaps obvious from her surname, but her family is Spanish.
Anne was born in San Fernando in Spain, but moved to Lyon with her parents and sister when she was only two. She is now a dual national, having gained French citizenship along with her parents when she was 14.
Candidates for the French presidency are required to be French citizens, but there is no requirement to have been French from birth and Hidalgo is not the first non French-born candidate to run – in 2012 Norwegian-born Eva Joly ran for the green party.
3 She’s a dingo – Not really, but her slightly derogatory nickname among Parisians is Annie Dingo.
It’s a rather complicated pun of her name which thanks to the French habit of liaison is pronounced Annie-Dalgo – combined with the French word dingue (crazy) so it roughly translates as Crazy Annie. It’s mostly used by opponents of her green car-free city policies.
4 She’s actually pretty popular with many Parisians – it’s often said that her anti-car policies have made her widely unpopular in the city she governs, but in fact she was reelected in 2021 with a healthy majority.
She certainly not popular with many car owners, but the majority of people in Paris don’t own a car and many really appreciate the changes she has made – increasing cycle lanes, making popular areas like the banks of the Seine car-free and allowing cafés to expand their outdoor seating areas.
But her image as ‘too Parisian’ appears to be counting against her during her presidential bid (even though she grew up in Lyon).
5 She’s planning a new style of Olympics – Hidalgo was reportedly initially unconvinced about Paris bidding to host the Olympics. However, she then came on board with the plan and in 2017 Paris was named host city of the 2024 games.
She has put her own stamp on the event, which aims to boost the city’s green credentials while also avoiding big spending on venues and instead choosing to regenerate run-down areas. Inclusivity is a key component of the games with as many events as possible hosted in the city centre.
The bid was completed during her first term as mayor and she will still be leading the city in time for the games in 2024 – provided she isn’t diverted into the presidential Elysée Palace.