The Sumo World Salutes Jacques Chirac

Yesterday, I retweeted a respectful note from a former Yokozuna, mourning the passing of former French President, Jacques Chirac. However, it wasn’t until I read this wonderful article from written by Yohann, I realized just how big of a fan he was.

The infamous, and beloved, macaron has not always been awarded by la Republique. Indeed, Chirac instituted a beautiful little trophy in the year 2000. Again, Yohann’s excellent piece has a great little history about la coupe Jacques Chirac. I highly recommend hopping over for a read. Ozeki Hakuho was the last to win the prize in 2007 when Chirac left office.

After Chirac’s trophy was retired, a new prize was instituted by the Ambassador of France. The new cup has the heads of a couple of roosters but we always take note of the giant replica macaron. The winner actually gets a big box of Pierre Hermes macarons to enjoy.

Chirac visited sumo events several times and often watched and kept tabs on television. He also hosted sumo wrestlers in Paris. Notably, the largest event was the three day Tournament of Bercy (Bercy Basho?) that he hosted a few months after he won the Presidential election in 1995.

Nicolas Sarkozy learned a little lesson in diplomacy when he insulted the sport, creating a little international firestorm. He attempted to insult Chirac by proxy, claiming that it wasn’t exactly an “intellectual’s” sport.

Since culinary lore has it that François Mitterrand’s last meal was the ortolan delicacy, I would not be surprised if Chirac had a bowl of chanko.

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