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IOC member says Paris 2024 plans ‘obsolete’

People attend a logo presentation ceremony for Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Grand Rex cinema in Paris on October 21, 2019. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP) (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

IOC member and former French sports minister Guy Drut has said the city of Paris’s plans for the 2024 Summer Olympics are “obsolete and outdated” due to Covid-19.

Drut, an International Olympic Committee member since 1996, and sports minister in France between 1995-97 under Jacques Chirac, said that postponement of Tokyo 2020 was just the tip of the iceberg.

“The crisis we’re going through has a lasting impact on our daily lives, our way of life, our economy, our social pact, our choice of society,” he said, writing in a column for French news service franceinfo. “It cannot and must not remain without effect on the imperative necessity which is to reinvent ourselves…The Olympic and Paralympic Games are no exception to this new context. They too must reinvent themselves to put them more in touch with reality.

“Can the response to this crisis be translated by simply postponing dates, without the Games model – both economic and organisational – also being deeply rethought?”

Drut added: “If the project is to remain unchanged, we must review its means and refocus on the essential. The first necessity is to make a budgetary reassessment of what Paris 2024 Olympics will cost.

“The Games of yesterday will not be the Games of tomorrow. We have to accept that and together imagine a new model. We have to rethink them to adapt them, to keep them relevant to the changing world. They will not be able to take place at any cost, disconnected from reality, on the ‘margins’ of the world.”

Drut suggested hosting certain events on a single site “whatever the organising country”, citing as an example Tahiti or Hawaii for surfing.

He also proposed limiting the number of sports under consideration for being added to the Games schedule, saying: “It is very expensive to build new equipment for an event that lasts only three, four days.”