IOC to ex­am­ine Paris 2024 bid

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS: Af­ter three days in Los An­ge­les, In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) del­e­gates head for Paris to in­spect the city’s bid for the 2024 Games against a back­drop of a han­dover of power to French pres­i­dent-elect Em­manuel Macron.

With just four months to go un­til the vote in Lima, the 11-mem­ber IOC Eval­u­a­tion Com­mis­sion will to­day be­gin their three-day in­spec­tion of the French cap­i­tal on the day Macron takes over from Fran­cois Hol­lande.

Macron, elected last Sun­day, has al­ready taken the ini­tia­tive and reaf­firmed his back­ing for the Paris bid in talks with IOC chief Thomas Bach.

He spoke to Bach by phone and ex­pressed his “at­tach­ment to the Paris 2024 project and em­pha­sised France’s long­stand­ing com­mit­ment to the Olympic move­ment“, the bid com­mit­tee said in a state­ment.

“We are de­lighted that even be­fore his in­au­gu­ra­tion as new pres­i­dent of France he has al­ready found time to speak to the IOC pres­i­dent to reaf­firm his full and com­plete sup­port for Paris 2024,” the co-chair­man of the com­mit­tee Tony Es­tanguet said.

Dur­ing to­day’s open­ing pre­sen­ta­tion, Paris of­fi­cials will high­light the virtues of a project which, from its in­cep­tion, has fo­cused on legacy.

With just one swim­ming pool and an Olympic Vil­lage to build, the ren­o­va­tion of the trans­port sys­tem be­ing planned for 2022, Paris 2024 claim they are 95 per­cent equipped to host a third Games af­ter 1900 and 1924.

The IOC will also be look­ing at the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pact and how a Paris Games would pro­mote sport to a wider au­di­ence, such as women, se­nior cit­i­zens and the dis­abled.

The Games are also been touted as a golden op­por­tu­nity to shape Greater Paris through the re­gen­er­a­tion of nu­mer­ous sites in­clud­ing Seine-Saint-De­nis, one of the poor­est re­gions of France with high youth un­em­ploy­ment.

The Paris Games would be cen­tred in this area sit­u­ated to the north-east of the city with the Olympic Vil­lage there to be trans­formed af­ter­wards into so­cial hous­ing.

The French bid is also be­ing pre­sented as one of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment re­ceiv­ing the back­ing of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and No­bel Peace Prize win­ner Mo­ham­mad Yunus, a cham­pion of so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Or­gan­is­ers prom­ise to re­duce the car­bon foot­print by 55 per­cent com­pared to the 2012 London Olympics.

To­mor­row, the IOC del­e­gates will take a bus ride through all the planned sites from the nau­ti­cal base of Vaires-sur-Marne in the east of the city to the velo­drome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yve­lines in the west, lin­ger­ing of course in the 10km epi­cen­tre around the Olympic Vil­lage where 22 sports will be played.

The in­cred­i­ble back­drop pro­vided by some of the city’s most iconic mon­u­ments such as the Eif­fel Tower will be high­lighted.

The es­ti­mated cost of a Paris Games is €6.2 bil­lion (RM29.46 bil­lion) – €3 bil­lion for in­fras­truc­ture, €3.2 bil­lion for the or­gan­i­sa­tion, of which €1.8 is be­ing fi­nanced by the IOC. Los An­ge­les have tabled a bid es­ti­mated at US$5.3 bil­lion. AFP

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