British People

Mayor's winning ways make proceedings ever colourful

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:54pm

Effusive London Mayor Boris Johnson is easily the gold medal winner when it comes to providing soundbites for the hungry British media. Take this gem, for instance: 'Ping-pong was invented on the dining tables of England in the 19th century, and it was called Wiff-Waff and there, I think, you have the difference between us and the rest of the world. Other nations, the French, looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to have dinner; we looked at it and saw an opportunity to play Wiff-Waff and I say to the Chinese, and to the world, that ping-pong is coming home.'

Johnson said this four years ago in Beijing, where he was present to accept the Olympic flag as the mayor of the next host city. But he hasn't lost his flair for the dramatic.

On Wednesday, his latest stunt earned him a 'trending' spot on Twitter.

Johnson got stuck on a zip wire at east London's Victoria Park after he lost momentum about three-quarters of the way across. 'Can you get me a rope? Get me a rope, OK?' he was heard shouting good-humoredly in a video posted to the ITV News website.

A happy crowd below snapped photos and laughed.

But watch out for Johnson. He, too, will be a winner, on a far bigger stage - politics. The talk of the town is that the mayor is using these Games to garner goodwill and the support of the British public as he bids to become the new Conservative leader and replace Prime Minister David Cameron at the next elections.