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General Secretary of the International Whip and spinning top Federation

A psychic would have told me: “One day you will be General Secretary of the International Whip and spinning top Federation,” I would have sent her to graze. And yet she would have been right. Indeed, 15 days before we left for Liupanshui, Mister Liu, the president of the Chinese Whip and top Federation had suggested to me that he wished to appoint me to this position. A few days later, he sent me the program of the conferences scheduled during the competition where my name was wrote black on white in the list of speakers. In short, I was going to have to address a committee of “wise Men” to endorse the creation of the International Federation.

The thing amused me and frightened me at once; If I used to talk to small groups of 10 or 15 people in the course of professional training, I had never spoken to an audience of city, notable and specialists. In short, this perspective has caused me some insomnia. Until the day of the competition opening.

The speakers at Shuicheng International spinning top and Whip Competition Conference

The conference was held in the early afternoon in one of the hotel’s meeting rooms; a raised scene with a long desk on which the names of the speakers were placed. At the right end of the desk, I spotted the sign bearing my name in Chinese “Matai”, a microphone and a teacup with its cover. I took out my iPad and displayed the text of my speech, set the size of the text to be able to read it comfortably and waited for the other speakers to arrive. Meanwhile, the journalists and photographers had moved to the back of the room and had deployed their cameras.

Finally, the President of the meeting arrived, followed by President Liu who settled next to me. It took another half hour to get the city and county politicians to arrive, and the session started.

Mr Liu speech at Shuicheng International spinning top and Whip Competition Conference

After a brief introduction by the president of the conference, President Liu started his speech. Thanks to Mr. Zhou’s delayed translation, I was able to follow the gist of his remarks; he talked a lot about “Matai Siansen” (Mister Mathieu) and the Da-Tuoluo website that I had created and when he stood up to greet and mark the end of his speech, I knew it was my turn. The stress suddenly flew away; I started my speech in English, an eye on the iPad, pausing after each paragraph so that Mister Zhou would do the translation in Chinese. Ten minutes later, I was reaching to the end of the ordeal and I got up a little bit early to greet as Mister Zhou had not yet translated my conclusion.

Traditional group photo at Shuicheng International spinning top and Whip Competition Conference

Then there was the speeches of the local city and political leaders that lasted about half-hour and the President of the meeting closed the Conference. The International spinning top and Whip Federation had just been created and I was its General Secretary. I thanked Mister Liu and we joined the Arena to attend the following competitions which we probably missed a few essential moments.