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Paris: Olympic Games Pop Quiz (Meet me at the Louvre!)

What’s My Line? Guess the name of our mystery guest! (T. Brack’s photo archives)

Just do it (Musée du Louvre) Photos by T. Brack

By Theadora Brack

Calling all Quiz Masters back to the stadium because I’m still feeling the void left behind after they extinguished the flame. Saluting the closing of the London 2012 Olympic Games, I’ve crafted a new riddle for the road. So fasten your seat belts because it’s time for some bumpy time travel.

We’ll also take a spin around the Louvre with a few of my chiton-clad friends. Bygone it, Atalanta—Ready! Set! Bolt!

The question

Identify the Olympic Champion on the right in the top photograph. Tickling the bonus points, tell us how long it took Odile, Arthur, and Franz to run through the Louvre in Godard’s “Bande à part” film. Stop. Did I just spot the Nike of Samothrace?

The clues

1. Wind it back to the 1924 Paris Olympic Games at Colombes, France.

2. “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stronger) became the official motto.

3. And Bigger. The Games of the VIII Olympiad were the first to boast a closing ceremony, an Olympic Village with hot and cold running water, and a 50-meter pool with marked lanes, to boot.

4. After our mysterious mer-man in the photograph above won gold in 1924 and 1928, he went on to become an underwear model and actor. “Hooray for Hollywood,” as my film buff Aunt Doris would say!

Oh, Diana of Versailles (Musée du Louvre)

Now let’s skip to the Louvre
Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre, 1st arrondissement

Tip! I recommend buying your museum tickets in advance on the second floor of the Carrousel du Louvre. Keep your eyes peeled for the ticket machines, located next to the escalators. Most credit cards are accepted.

Book Hunters: The Louvre museum book shop not only discounts catalogs from its previous exhibitions up to 60% off their original cost, but also carries current and back issues of “albums de l’exposition.” Published by Beaux Arts Magazine, Connaissance des Arts, or the Louvre itself, these slim gems are lightweight and affordable, costing a few euros a pop.

You’ll find books and catalogs on the first floor, while the textiles, decorative arts hold court on the second level. Watch out for the Marie Antoinette section. Take heed: alluring and glittery souvenirs beckon on both levels. (Do keep your head.) Also, gift-wrapping with miles of ribbon is free, no matter the price or size of your purchase. You just have to request it. Your cat sitter (and cat) will thank you.

More Olympic Fun: For two more nods to the Olympic Games, check out the Tin Man’s “Olympic Facts and Fun” and Rob Packer’s “The Olympic Park.” Both reads are poetic and gold-worthy!

Carpe diem!

Lavender-based “Moment Supreme” by Jean Patou, 1929

Fancy Pants Tip: This 1924 map of the Olympic Village and Stadiums at Colombes, France is Google-Earth ready! Here’s the address: “55 rue Paul Bert, Columbes, France.” The stadium and pool are still there. Take a dive! (“How to Enjoy Paris, Vernier, 1924)

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46 thoughts on “Paris: Olympic Games Pop Quiz (Meet me at the Louvre!)

    • Dear Mr. Tin Man!! I’m impressed. You should sign up for the “Jeopardy” television quiz show!!

      Yes, the charismatic handsome devil on the right in the top photograph is Olympic Champion and Hollywood Star, Johnny Weissmuller.

      Here’s the scoop: After scoring medals at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games, Johnny modeled underwear and bathing suits for BVD (Bradley, Voorhees & Day)!

      “Swim in the suit designed by Johnny Weissmuller,” boasted BVD’s hip advertising copy. Thanks to Johnny, splashy “Topless” swimming trunks for men became very, very popular!

      In 1932, he signed a contract with MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). What was his first major role? Tarzan! “Tarzan the Ape Man” was his first flick (based on the book by Edgar Rice Burroughs).

      Bravo, Tin Man!!

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    • Ring-a-ding-ding!
      We have a winner. Bravo, Monsieur Tin Man!! (And thank everyone for playing!!)

      Yes, it took Odile (Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard’s wife), Arthur (Claude Brasseur), and Franz (Sami Frey) 9 minutes and 43 seconds to run through the Louvre in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Bande à part” film (1964)! And yes, “Winged Victory” makes a cameo appearance in the film.

      “Band of Outsiders” has always been one of my favorite Godard movies. The exterior shots of Paris alone are fabulous. Lights! Camera! Action.

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    • Dear Tin Man, Thank you for solving our little Pop Quiz!! I thoroughly enjoyed YOUR Olympic Games post. You included so many interesting tidbits. Big hugs!! T.

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  1. Ha, I thought it was Johnny Weißmüller! Love the post and thank you so much for linking to my Olympics post – I’m missing the games so bad, but it’s Paralympic time soon! R x

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    • Oh, Yes. Johnny Weißmüller is the name of our Mystery Guest. He was a looker, eh? In the press photograph above, he’s photographed with his popular Broadway Star wife, Bobbe Arnst. The pair met on Saint Valentine’s Day, and then tied the knot in secret two months later in March of 1931. (The photograph was published in April.)

      And thank you, Rob! Your post was such a lovely tribute to the Olympic Series. And the photographs were spiffy, too. I enjoyed your entire series. Merci for the inspiration!! T.

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  2. When our girls were little and we’d go to the Cleveland Museum of Art (a world-class museum, although not the size of the Louvre), they would wonder where the heads were for the headless pieces. 🙂 They always loved those and the Egyptian area. I always enjoy your posts. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get to Paris for more than a stop on the way to Provence…although that’s not bad either!!

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    • I love the Cleveland Museum of Art!! What a collection. What a great story. Yes, make time to visit Paris again. Provence is pretty darn wonderful. Have you been to Grasse? After years of work, the International Perfume Museum (Musée international de la parfumerie) is back open. Enjoy the week!! T.

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    • Oh, yes. I love the photograph of Johnny Weissmuller. He was handsome! The gal on the left is Johnny’s wife, the Broadway starlet Bobbe Arnst. The press photograph was taken in April 1931, just after the pair got hitched. It’s a favorite shot. Thanks for taking a spin with us!! T.

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  3. He sure doesn’t look like ‘Tarzan’ in that shot, Mlle B.!

    The exceptionally beautiful images from the Louvre are wonderful…any more? Also love, love the shot of ‘Jean Patou’…such a beauty of a bottle! For some reason, the Seine reminds me of the Arno in Florence…hmmm.

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    • Thank you!! I also love the “Moment Suprême” bottle. I recently found the beauty at the Porte de Vanves Flea. It was steal. And love at first sight. I almost cried. My knees buckled. My hands shook. After I made the purchase, I danced like Moulin Rouge Can Can dancer. It was a good day! B.

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  4. Hey, I just Google-Earthed “55 rue Paul Bert, Colombes, France”, and the Olympic stadium is STILL THERE. Wow! Who knew? It looks so tiny compared to the Olympic Parks of today, but it is amazing that it still exists. Thanks for making this discovery possible!

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    • Thanks, Martino!! YES, the 1924 map is Google-Earth ready. The address is “55 rue Paul Bert, Colombes, France.” So many of the buildings are still there. Amazing! It was tiny but pretty snazzy-jazzy at the time. It was the first Olympic Village to flaunt telephone and telegraph services, resting rooms and salons, individual dining tables (for the individual teams), and baths and sinks with hot and cold running water. Interesting! T.

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  5. PS–After all the silly controversy about the great Gabby Douglas’s “shameful” hairdo, it was fun to see that Greek athletes wore the same thing thousands of years ago. Get a life, critics! Or better yet, get out and get some exercise! Thanks for the close-up details of the statuary.

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  6. Such a lovely post: I knew about Johnny Weissmuller, I remember the reenactment of run thru the Louvre in “The Dreamers”, where they established a better time than their predecessors from “Bande a part” (and the original film).
    The rest, I have to admit it’s ablur, je suit tout a fait confuse, je fait ma retraite, maintenant, avant d’avoir perdu mes oreilles!

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    • Ah, thank you for your kind words. I haven’t seen “The Dreamers” (2003) I’m a Bernardo Bertolucci fan, so it’s been on my “films-to -ee” list for years. Were they able to beat time set by “Bande a part” trio? Wait. Don’t tell me! I’m off to find the film now. Enjoy the weekend!! T.

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      • Great….I think you’ll find it…liberating…nonconformist…above all young, oh youth where have you been hiding?

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  7. I have lit my torch. I have donned my running shoes with the scarlet ribbons. I am holding my torch high, but I can never run as fast as The Tin Man. Virginia

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    • Hi V.! I almost lost my head while browsing in the Marie Antoinette section. Oh, sigh. I bought a compact mirror. It’s pink. It’s lovely. You’d love it! T. (You’d also love, love the Louvre’s bookshop on the first floor. Gorgeous space. Gorgeous books.)

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    • Thanks, Richard! Yes, there were three Tarzans. Clarence Linden “Buster” Crabbe and Harold Herman Brix were the other two. What great names, eh? I think Brix was Edgar’s favorite. What lookers! T. (I also loved Bande à part’s soundtrack, along with the super sassy dance scene. It’s difficult to watch it and not hit repeat!)

      Here’s a short clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq2s60oxlv8

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  8. Great tips on the line/buying tickets at the Louvre – we went ‘offseason’ (in March) and the lines were still insane to purchase tickets. Well worth the wait however. Although a life without lines is much better for an inpatient person like me!

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    • Thanks!! I’ve always preferred the Carrousel du Louvre entrance. It’s close to the Métro, a food court, shops, and a fancy-pants WC. Plus, my favorite Musée de la Mode et du Textile musée is just a hop, skip and jump away. While strolling the wings of the Louvre, did you catch an interesting exhibition or spend time with a favorite work? T.

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  9. I got here late but my guess was Jonny (Tarzan) Weismuller since he comes from my country of birth Romania (he was born just outside of Temesvar, a few hundred kilometers south of my birth place) and we are both Hungarian – Americans.

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    • Dear Laszlo, Ring-a-ding-ding! I dig your guess, story and connection. Johnny Weismuller was such a character. Do you know if his house in Romania is still standing? That would be an interesting pilgrimage! T. (By the way, I also love your architectural site.)

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      • Hi Theadora, Thank you for your kind words about my work. I always thought that Jonny was pretty cool but I am not sure if his place of birth is still standing. Since he was Hungarian (of German decent) the Romanians never talked about him much. I love your blog by the way. LK

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    • Yes, our Tin Man brought home “Gold” yet again. He’s our Pop Quiz Master! T. (Yes, the statue’s foot looks very realistic. Love the shoe, too! I’d trade my well-loved Nike shoes for a pair!)

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