The Diplomatic Games – Moscow 4-8 October

August 29, 2012

Well, we’ve had the Eurovision, Euro 2012 football tournament, Olympics 2012, and the Paralympics 2012 begins in effect today.  That is to name just a few major sporting events in 2012.

A veritable sports-fest for those inclined to either participate or go along as a spectator.

But, my dear readers, with the conclusion of the Paralympics, international pride in the sporting arena does not end there this year.

Between 4th and 8th October in Moscow, The Diplomatic Games takes place.  Possibly the very pinnacle of international sporting events and gladiatorial achievements to be held in 2012.

Taking part are diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Britain, Japan, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Croatia.  Least they are the nations that have already confirmed their participation.

The nations of the USA, India, Serbia, Kazakhstan have all expressed an interest to compete in future games, although not the forthcoming event.

The winning nations of this prestigious event receives a loving cup depicting 5 figures holding a globe mounted on a very nice malachite base!  Corrrr!

So what are the disciplines within The  Diplomatic Games?  Finding a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian issue?  Creating a stable Pakistan?  Formulating the best plans to deal with militancy?  Finding clever and smart answers to climate change, global economic imbalances or world hunger?

Maybe something less tricky.  Maybe who can think up the best, most quirky and funny acronyms?  Who can deliver the fastest speaking note without stumbling or becoming incoherent?  A diplomatic bag relay perhaps?

Errrm – Well no.

The national diplomatic teams will be competing in the disciplines of mini-football, lawn tennis, table tennis, chess and badminton.  This reaches a crescendo on the final day with a Diplomatic Best 11 verses the Russian diplomatic crops in a gala football match.

Well blimey!

The previous UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Leigh Turner, was a bit of a star at table tennis.  There was ( and possibly still is) a table tennis table in the UK residency that was in fairly regular use – and rumour has it, (in fact more than rumour), that several bloody good paddlings were handed out via this table tennis table to visiting foreign diplomats and various other persons of assorted import that had occasion to attend the UK Ambassador’s residency in Kyiv.

A note to the FCO, if Mr Turner is not in the UK diplomatic table tennis team then there is something wrong with the selection process.

Indeed, our current Charges d’Affaires in Kyiv is also a bit of a sportsman, cutting a very trim figure, and no doubt would prove a very nimble player in the mini-football.

One wonders also, whether retired FCO diplomats are allowed to take part.  Charles Crawford, according to his own historical records, was a bit of a whiz at chess in his Oxford days.

The question that has to be asked, is whether William Hague will be acting as team manager or whether that will fall to a senior FCO civil servant.

I will contact HM Embassy Kyiv and try to find a Team UK list for this prestigious event over the coming weeks.  I will also try to get a similar team list from Ukraine.  Naturally come the closing ceremony, I will announce the winning team.

All those Union Jacks waved with such vigor during the Jubilee, Euro 2012, Olympics and Paralympics are quite likely to need a year off in 2013 to recover – but don’t put them away just yet – wait until the sporting event of 2012 is over!

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