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French diver laughs off 'funny' fall in front of Macron

AFP
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French diver laughs off 'funny' fall in front of Macron
French diver Alexis Jandard, who has qualified for the Paris Games, falling while diving during a demonstration alongside two qualified French divers, as the French President inaugurates the Olympic Aquatics Centre (CAO), a multifunctional venue for the Paris 2024 Olympics in Saint-Denis, on April 4, 2024. (Photo by Handout / METROPOLE DU GRAND PARIS / AFP)

A French international diver on Friday laughed off an embarrassing mishap in front of President Emmanuel Macron which saw him fall on the diving board and crash into the water at the inauguration of the aquatics centre for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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Alexis Jandard, a two-time world championship minor medallist, has won widespread praise on social media for gamely mocking his own misfortune rather than silently retreating into a corner.

Jandard, performing a synchronised routine on the 3 metre board with two other divers during the ceremony, lost his footing while jumping, landed painfully on the board on his back and bottom and then splashed into the water.

"I am fine really! It's superficial although it looks impressive on the images," Jandard told BFMTV after waking up to discover Thursday's mishap had become a viral meme overnight.

"The fall was ridiculous... it's part of the game. If I look at the fall it's funny.

"It's something that happens to us in diving -- not regularly but it's not surprising. It happens in training sometimes, in competition. But there it was in front of the president during the inauguration of the pool. I told myself it was the worst moment!"

He said he had received a message from the president and the Minister of Sports Amelie Oudea-Castera had phoned him to ensure all was well.

Of the Olympics he added: "The objective is clear to get on the podium."

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Jandard had on Thursday evening already taken to Instagram with a smiles-filled video, telling followers they deserved a "little debrief" and acknowledging he had "fallen in front of the president of the republic, in front of all of France".

"Have a laugh at me, because frankly I deserve it," he said.

Jandard is to compete in Paris in the 3 metre synchronised event.

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