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French and English are the official languages of the International Olympic Committee. At Committee sessions, simultaneous translation is provided in German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. However, the Olympic rules state that if there is a point of disagreement between English and French from the official point of view, the French is the authoritative version.That is a hangover from Pierre de Coubertin. But traditionally, Kings and Presidents have always opened the games in the language of Molière. However, inn Los Angeles in 1984, US President Ronald Reagan broke with the rules. He declared the 23rd Olympic games "open" - not "ouverts" - which aroused anger in many quarters. Since then French, which is losing ground in the world as a whole, is falling into disuse at the Olympics. Thus the Games in Lillehammer, Atlanta, Nagano and Sydney were opened in the language of the host nation despite recriminations by the IOC president.
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