Paris to host the 2024 Summer Olympics? [fr]
It is now official. The city of Los Angeles just signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (ICO) to host the 2028 Olympic Games, which makes Paris more than a likely host for 2024.
Both cities had received a preliminary approval for the organization of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games from the ICO. Los Angeles will become a three-time Olympic city, since it hosted the games in 1932 and 1984. The official host choice for 2024 will be announced in Lima, Peru, on September 13, 2017.
After losing the 2012 Olympic Games to London, Paris bid again in 2015, with an ambitious project developed in collaboration with the Greater Paris initiative and the Conseil de Paris. Tony Estanguet, a three-time Olympic Gold medalist in the C-1 canoe competition, and Bernard Lapasset, a former President of the International Rugby Board (IRB), are jointly leading the committee supporting Paris’s candidacy. Terry Riner, the famous judoka, and Paralympic athlete Marie-Amélie Le Fur are two of the high-profile members of the athletic committee.
Paris has several assets that may help it win the bid for 2024. In addition to high-quality infrastructures, the French capital will not need to undertake any significant construction work before the games, except for the opening of an Olympic-size pool, which had already been planned before the 2024 candidacy. Paris’s public transport network is another major asset. In contrast with Los Angeles’s 60 kilometer-wide urban area, commuting from one sporting event to the other should be seamless for both athletes and spectators. The Paris candidacy also relies on the city’s attractiveness. As much as possible, the authorities have indeed decided to associate the sporting events to the capital’s historical landmarks. Imagine the thrill of watching a fencing competition in the Grand Palais, cheering for one’s favorite beach Volleyball team on the Champs de Mars, or strolling through the Olympic village in Saint-Denis, by the Stade de France.
The Paris candidacy has garnered the support of many high-profile individuals, including newly elected President Emmanuel Macron. During the Olympic Days that were held in Paris late June, he even tried playing wheelchair tennis, and put on a pair of boxing gloves. Anne Hidalgo communicated abroad extensively about the Paris candidacy, traveling personally to 11 countries that include Russia, Japan and Qatar. Thiago Motta, an Italian soccer star playing for the Paris Saint-Germain team, Rafael Nadal, the tennis champion, and Daniel Carter, the New-Zealand Rugby Champion from Racing 92, are all foreign athletes who have expressed their support for the Paris bid.
Hamburg, Rome and Budapest also placed a bid for 2024, along with Paris and Los Angeles, but later dropped out, for economic reasons or for lack of popular support. Should Paris be chosen as the game host for 2024, it would be exactly 100 years since the city last hosted the Olympic Games. The answer is to come on September 13.
To keep up with all the latest news, visit Paris2024.