Champagne Celebrations

Friday, 26 November 2010

You’ve the riders spraying champagne on the podium sometimes. In case you didn’t notice, it’s a symbolic gesture that some have linked to, err, male ejaculation.

But it’s a relatively recent idea. In the 1950s the French Grand Prix motor racing event took place in Reims and seeing as the city is the champagne capital of France, the winning driver – in this case Fangio – was awarded a bottle of bubbly as a prize and a tradition was born, namely that the winning driver was awarded a bottle of champagne.

Fast forward to 1967 and the Le Mans 24 hour race. The winning driver Daniel Sexton Gurney stepped onto the podium and was given his now obligatory bottle of champagne. It’s here accounts differ. One says he was so excited that he just decided to spray the crowd; another suggests that the bottle was not chilled and the driver was overheated, so instead of sipping, he sprayed.

Either way this started off a tradition that has become renowned the world over and is a marketing genius for champagne sales, forever associating it with success.

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