Quantcast
Latest Stories

Olympics: London mayor left hanging after zipwire mishap


Loading the player...

London Mayor Boris Johnson, tipped as a possible future British prime minister, made a striking entry to an Olympic event by zipwire Wednesday -- only to get stuck dangling over the crowd. AFP


LONDON—London Mayor Boris Johnson, tipped as a possible future British prime minister, made a striking entry to an Olympic event by zipwire Wednesday — only to get stuck dangling over the crowd.

Waving a Union Jack flag in each hand, the colourful Conservative mayor initially gathered some speed as he flew over Victoria Park in east London, where the Games were being shown on giant screens.

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” an announcer said as the mayor waved to the crowds below, wearing a bright blue helmet with his smart business suit.

But he ground to a halt halfway across the 320-meter (350-yard) zipwire — which is also open to the public — and was left hanging awkwardly over the spectators, still wielding his flags.

“Can you get me a rope? Get me a rope, ok?” he called to the crowds. “I think we need to test it on somebody going a bit faster…”

Onlookers said he was left hanging for several minutes, before officials pulled him the rest of the way.

“I think possibly what had happened was that they left a brake on or something,” Johnson told ITV television once he was back on the ground.

“But anyway, it was wonderful and I thoroughly recommend it.”

Speaking later to London radio station LBC, he described himself as “the Yuri Gagarin of the zipwire”, in reference to the Soviet cosmonaut who was the first person to venture into outer space.

A spokeswoman for Johnson said: “Clearly the judges are likely to mark him down for artistic interpretation, and, unlike ‘Team GB’, he won’t be bagging any gold medals today but he remains unbowed.”

Known for his dishevelled mop of blond hair, rich vocabulary and unfailing sense of comic timing, Johnson is no stranger to public clangers — he fell into a river in 2009 while launching a volunteering campaign.

But beneath the buffoonery the mayor is seen as a sharp political operator, and his public profile during the Olympics has fuelled speculation that he could succeed Prime Minister David Cameron as Conservative leader.

The pair studied together at the elite boarding school Eton College and at Oxford University.

The Conservative-leaning Telegraph newspaper said earlier Wednesday that the party’s donors were flocking to Johnson and that Cameron is “on course to lose the next election, and his leadership, and he knows it.”

Cameron himself said of the zipwire incident: “If any other politician anywhere in the world was stuck on a zipwire, it would be a disaster. For Boris, it’s an absolute triumph.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Boris Johnson , Britain , London 2012 Olympics , Offbeat , Politics


  • TinQt

    lol

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/25VLIMQSAFPIHDGAROXIKCGNA4 Dennis

    this is funny! Lamao

  • hustlergalore

    highly entertaining!



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon calls for sobriety as mudslinging, witch hunts loom due to pork scam
  • S. Korea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher
  • If Napoles names Aquino allies, they’ll be brought to bar of justice – Palace
  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • No word yet on inking of US-PH defense pact during Obama visit
  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement