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From the ZipZap France web page. "It [French] is also the official language of the Olympic Games in honour of Pierre de Coubertin, the creator of the modern Olympics." The IOC has two offical languages English and French (Rule 27 - IOC Charter). Both languages are used to introduce competitors and all IOC documents are in both English and French. However, at IOC meetings, simultaneous translation is also provided into German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. In the event of any discrepancy between the French and English in the Olympic Charter or any other IOC document, the French text prevails.

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โˆ™ 2004-08-19 07:48:36
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Q: Why is French used to announce competitors into any arena in the Olympics?
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What is the arena called where the 2012 Olympics are going to be held?

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This is sometimes known as a "Herald". Which refers to the fellow who would run into the arena to announce the arrival of the "Queen's Favorite". I'm sure it dates back much further than my obvious reference to the middle ages. I'm not exactly an expert, but I'm sure the concept of "trumpeting in the athletes" has been around as long as the Olympics anyway. :o)