Pole Vaulter Streaks Through Paris

Frechman makes au natural bid for sponsorship after being dropped by Nike

By Janie Campbell
|  Monday, Mar 30, 2009  |  Updated 8:31 PM PDT
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Pole Vaulter Streaks Through Paris

Getty Images

America hopes Romain Mesnil doesn't give the Dolphins' offensive line any ideas come free agency.

French film is known for little action and lots of words, but apparently Romain Mesnil didn't get the memo.

The pole vaulting champion has released a video of himself prancing naked through the streets of Paris in a bid to attract a sponsor after the economy claimed his contract with Nike.  "It was probably for budgetary and strategic reasons. It's the crisis," he said in a news update on his website.

Armed only with his pole (no, the one that's considered equipme...ummm...the one made of fiberglass) and covered by a pesky black box of censorship, Mesnil sheds his pants and bounces through town as if prepared to scale its contents while a haunting score lends an artsy air to the clip [Warning: a bit of upper buns ahead]:

Dropped by Nike, Romain Mesnil Drops His Trou

It's shocking that a bid for attention involving a naked, toned, athletic body is working, isn't it?  But the clip has been shown on news reports across Europe, and it's even showing up in this country where we watch it while even now unashamedly eating the fried vegetable formerly known as  "Freedom Fries."  Mesnil, you might note, has apparently not discovered such deliciouisly unhealthy pursuits.

It's all very charming, and with this market who can blame athletes for resorting to such means as they look to continue their training? Still, we remain a little concerned this might actually become a popular practice among unsigned stars. Imagine what we might have been subjected to had Vernon Carey taken to the streets of South Beach with no pantalons while waiting on his contract renewal from the Dolphins. Sacre bleu!

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