France’s newly-elected President, Emmanuel Macron, threw his weight behind Paris’ bid to secure the 2024 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) concluded its visit to the capital today (Tuesday).
Following its trip to Los Angeles last week, the IOC Evaluation Commission wrapped up a three-day stay in Paris with an audience with Macron, who took office on Sunday. Paris 2024 has confirmed that France’s new leader will travel to IOC headquarters in in Lausanne, Switzerland for the July 11-12 bid presentations, although at this stage it is unclear whether he will also attend the vote on the host city in Lima, Peru on September 13.
Macron met with the IOC Evaluation Commission and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, as well as Paris 2024 co-chairmen Tony Estanguet (pictured) and Bernard Lapasset, at the Elysee Palace this morning. “Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to support the bid until the final victory – although he did not go into details regarding his possible presence in Lima,” Estanguet said, according to the Reuters news agency.
It is currently unclear what, if any, role US President Donald Trump will have in LA 2024’s plans for the key events in Lausanne and Lima. Asked whether Macron’s political power would change the balance of a bid built around the athletes, Estanguet said: “Mr Macron is in the continuity of Mr (Francois) Hollande in that he is personally involved in the bid. It is a very, very strong gesture that shows the unity and strength of Paris 2024.”
Paris is seeking to land the Olympics for the first time since 1924, having entered failed bids for the 1992, 2008 and 2012 Games. Evaluation Commission chair Patrick Baumann today praised the sense of history around Paris 2024’s plans, with several iconic landmarks set to be utilised in the Parisian bid.
“The Paris bid can put sport in the middle of that history,” Baumann said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “And there is also the Olympic history, with the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, this is where modern Olympics were born. There is a very strong link between Paris’ history, the Olympics history and their will to host the games again after those of 1924.”
Baumann admitted that while Los Angeles and Paris present different Olympic Games visions, both are of very high standards. “We have two candidatures that do not present major risks,” he said. “Both cities have an Olympic tradition, venues ready to use and dedicated teams. They have a totally different historic and cultural background. The two cities have a different vision and IOC members will have to decide between the two.”
Baumann also played down concerns over the financial projections for the Paris 2024 bid. Its infrastructure budget has been estimated at €3bn ($3.27bn), with operational costs of €3.2bn. Paris also needs to build an aquatics centre, media centre and the Olympic Village.
“We are confident that their budget is a very realistic budget and fit in the program Paris 2024 wants to put in place,” Baumann said.