Plans are afoot in Bern to possibly modify the August 1 Swiss National Day holiday, sliding it by a week to honour the Helvetic icon that is Roger Federer
Zurich tabloid Blick laid out the plan which will be presented to the ruling National Council in Bern and which apparently has serious backing.
The proposal first conceptualised by Federer’s longtime physical trainer Pierre Paganini and supported by many politicians will be debated in Parliament next May, about the time which Federer might well be competing on the clay of Roland Garros.
The upcoming August 8 date will coincide with the 40th birthday of the 20-time Grand Slam champion, considered as possibly the best to have ever played the sport.
Paganini said: “We want to celebrate Roger’s great commitment to our country. There is no one in the world who better transmits the values of Switzerland and shows his precision, modesty and kindness as national virtues on the whole planet.
“He has been the best ambassador possible for our country for 20 years; it is time to give something back,.”
Blick reports support for the plan from a historian and even the possibility of making the date change permanent,
The expert noted: “The Federal Charter does not assure either that August 1 was the anniversary of the founding of Switzerland, even though we have been celebrating this day for 130 years.
“It is not historically documented, so it will always be better to honor Federer, who is the best athlete we have had in our history.”