Dear Arnold Schwarzenegger,

Rare are the stainless superheroes who engage in action
with its difficulties and the weight of its responsibilities. Yet it is
that leap you made, you who already had everything that Hollywood
had given you. I myself come from the world of images and screens
and passed into that of public action; I live from day to day the
contrast between these two worlds, and also what they can bring
so it is a very special pleasure and honour for me
to honour you today – especially since we have
also in common the taste of cigar at work, its ability to inspire it,
for which I understand you had the palace of the
California governor a special tent to be able to smoke while
remaining legal.
A child from Styria who fulfills his American dream: such is the fate out
standard that you have built yourself. Before becoming five times Mister Universe
and seven times Mister Olympia, the puny child that you were had to defeat his
fears, like Batman his bat phobia or Spiderman his shyness. Â
Graz, dissatisfied with your daily life, you choose to develop your
musculature with bodybuilding. You spot Reg Park, bodybuilder now
actor, on a magazine cover and here is the initial impulse. At 14
years, you have already grasped your possibilities, your ambition is
determined, and you will devote all your energy to it.
These will be years of training, multiple competitions and, step by step
stage, the accession, at 20 years, to the title of Mister Universe. You are then the
younger to obtain this title as will be the case three years later with
that of Mister Olympia. This cult of the body is a passport for a future
best, in a country on the scale of your ambition and stature: the
United States. The intensive training required by this high level of
competition, the privations that this can induce, all this reveals the strength of
character that is yours, in a time when you were not always
supported by your loved ones as much as you would have liked. During these
years, you develop, in addition to an unusual physique, a morale and
Rocky Balboa tenacity – that your friend Sylvester Stallone
on-screen.
When you push the doors of the cinema, not everything plays in your
favor: oversized body, too pronounced accent and name
unpronounceable. In 1970, you got your first movie role,
but it’s mostly the Pumping Iron documentary about your sessions
training activities that help to make you known to and discover the
bodybuilding. Since 1977, you are recognized by obtaining the Golden Globe of
best debutante actor for Rob Rafelson’s movie Stay Hungry.
Then there are the cinematic successes: with Conan the
Barbarian by John Milius in 1982 and Terminator by James Cameron in
1984, Schwarzy was born.
Your stunning filmography makes you switch from action film to
science fiction and comedy. We find you in Predator from
John Mc Tiernan in 1990. You are able to play in the same film
an ordinary individual, a spy and a hunted man when, alongside
Sharon Stone, you play Douglas Quaid in Paul’s Total Recall
Verhoeven, a film with crazy accents in which you surf between
dream and reality. Since Twins with Danny from Vito, you have
also able to show repeatedly your affinities with comedy,
among others with True Lies, where you share the poster with Jamie Lee
Curtis. You go as far as pasticher the characters who made your
success with Last Action Hero, a delightful parody of the action film
which makes us reflect on the facts of violence. It took some courage to
dare to attack one’s own myth.
Schwarzenegger the actor also finds time to invest, in
real estate or restoration – this is how you launch
with other Hollywood stars, the Planet Hollywood channel - it
graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Business, marries niece
Democratic President Kennedy while being a Republican, and gets elected
governor of California twice. Meanwhile, you had
also chaired President George Bush’s senior council on the
physical fitness and sports. There is something that falls under
ubiquity in your perfect embodiment of self-made man, a little to the
Warhol series, which had also immortalized you at
many times.
In your public responsibilities as head of the 6th economy
California, you will remain for all the governor who
will have known, by the famous law AB 32 on the reduction of gas emissions to
greenhouse effect, engage the richest state in the United States on the voice of the
environmental awareness. The Governor’s
example by equipping his Hummer with a hydrogen pump works
also in favour of health, notably by creating a Department
of Public Health in response to health and
large-scale epidemics; you have facilitated access to
Californians prescription drugs, signed legislation to
the fight against childhood obesity, and encouraged research on
stem cells. On all these fronts, the oak
Austrian» naturalized American in 1983 is where he was not expected.
You are a major innovator in the fields of
political communication, especially for the good of your
ecological commitment. This mix of genders is unique to you, the
creativity, courage and flexibility, innovation and
is also the mark of the Californian spirit whose
I was able to see recently the extraordinary vitality during my
on the west coast. The European you are has become
one of its brightest representatives.
Now that you’ve completed your second term, we don’t know
where, or in what field, but in the image of your most important person,
“Governator” will come back. Your commitment
Exemplary public advocacy for the environment, health and rights
is a very singular desire to best serve the
causes that are dear to you. You best embody everything that can
reconcile with politics: energy, the ability to surprise and to
innovation, and strength of conviction - in other words, in a word that language
French leadership is also appropriate.
Dear Arnold Schwarzenegger, we give you the insignia of
Knight of the Legion of Honor.