Marcel Meunier, Diabolo Champion

From L'Illustration, 19 October 1907

English translation by Don Lewis

The diabolo craze, the child's toy not spurned by adults, has finally crossed the Channel. This is a fair return as our neighbors have taught us many other games. For what its worth, the Diabolo has been a craze in England for several weeks; to the point that they have even borrowed our champion of this graceful sport.

The champion, a twelve year old boy, is Marcel Meunier of a notable family in Etampes. He recently established his record by throwing and catching the diabolo 6000 times in four hours. In London, the director of the Holborn Empire music hall has offered to hire him for 150 francs per day -- 180 pounds per month.

Marcel Meunier is actually a favorite of the London public. His fame has passed through the golden grillwork of the palace, and last Saturday he was invited to rehearse his show at Marlbourough House for the prince and princess of Wales, their family, and close friends. He went with his mother and his manager and was warmly welcomed.

We naturally interviewed the young prodigal, and he gracefully reviewed the morning.

"The prince, said the child, told me that I was a small boy who did great things, and then asked me to start my show. I wasn't nervous. I've never done so well, or sent the diabolo so high. After three quarters of an hour I began to get tired. The princess said that I should stop. I then played with the children. The prince declared that I was very skilled and gave me a gift; a wallet with the royal coat of arms in gold and a gold pencil with the royal monogram and seal."

Such fame hasn't bothered the young man, nor, even more surprising, his parents. The princess of Wales asked Mme. Meunier if her son was going to dedicate himself to a career on the stage. She replied that as soon as they got home to Etampes, Marcel would return to school.

Vintage Diabolo Pictures / Juggling Information Service /

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