Today I’m going to do something a bit special and completely different: I am going to have a guest blogger write this post. You see, it involves a visit to the sports museum, and while I am a casual sports fan, I am definitely not a major sports fan and I’m not a fan of every sport. Fortunately, the maestro is both, and he came with me to the sports museum a few weeks ago when he was visiting. So with that, I’ll let the maestro take you through our tour of the Musée national du sport.
The Musée National du Sport was, in a word, disappointing. I was extremely exciting upon our entry to the museum because we quickly discovered that we were the only two people there. In my mind, this meant that that would be no long lines to see all of the awesome artifacts and read all of the informative placards. Well… there was a serious lack of awesome things to see and read. Now this is not to say that there was nothing cool on display. There were several Olympic gold medals (although not from Olympics held in France), a bicycle from the turn of the century, Tony Parker’s French Olympic basketball jersey, and a pretty sweet miniature replica of a French gym from the early 1900’s. Other than that however, and I kid you not, the vast majority of the museum was about skateboarding. Room upon room of skateboarding paraphernalia, skateboarding videos, a “street course” set up for guests of the museum to practice their finger skateboarding skills. Each successive room brought us another dizzying array of skateboards and skateboarding information.
When I think of French sports I think of several different things.
The most storied bicycle race in history, the Tour de France. One display case in the museum contained a slightly battered yellow jersey from the mid 1970’s, and did not even explain it’s significance.
The French Open. One of tennis’s four major championships. Not once was the French Open so much as mentioned in the Musee National du Sport.
French Soccer. One display case contained a soccer ball. The guests are left wondering what this soccer balls means, or if it was simply placed in said display case at random.
For a country steeped in such rich athletic history and tradition as France, the Musee National du Sport falls well short of representing French sport in the way it deserves. Ultimately, I had an enjoyable time at the museum, but almost entirely because of who I was with, and not what I got to see.