Golden 25: #13 -- Team Paris

(ATR) Paris 2024 assembles a team, readies for key construction.

(ATR) Six years ahead of the 2024 Olympics, a team to lead the project is in place as plans for construction take shape.

Tony Estanguet, the Olympian and IOC member leads the overall effort as the president of the organizing committee. Estanguet, 40, is the youngest OCOG leader ever. Along with his slightly older colleague Etienne Thobois as CEO, this dynamic duo represents the new direction for organizing Olympic Games mandated by Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm IOC doctrine.

Holding the line on costs is absolutely essential to Paris 2024 which aims to dispel the notion that extreme cost overruns are normal for Olympic Games. Given the extraordinary political climate in France manifested by the yellow vest protesters in recent weeks, keeping the Olympics on or under budget will be one of the keys to avoiding public displeasure.

In 2019 decisions will be made on the contracts to build the aquatic center in St. Denis, the Paris suburb targeted for both the swimming venue and the Olympic Village. The village, an ambitious urban development, is underway, the only major construction projects for Paris.

IOC Coordination Commission chair Pierre Beckers, a successful corporate leader attentive to the bottom line, is considered a good match for handling oversight of the Paris plans. A resident of Belgium, it’s easy for him to stay in near daily contact with the Paris team.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo remains a strong supporter of the Olympic project, helping to keep the various political interests in the city and region aligned to deliver the Games.

A new sports minister took office in 2018 who should be a great supporter of the Olympic project. Romanian-born Roxana Maracineanu is an Olympic silver medalist in swimming from Sydney 2000 and France’s first world champion swimmer. At 43, she is part of the younger generation of sports leaders influencing Paris 2024.

French NOC President Denis Masseglia has big dreams for the success of the national team in 2024 as well as boosting the profile of the CNOSF in the lead up to the Games.

The Around the Rings Golden 25 is the annual survey of individuals who will have the most influence for the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. First published in 1997, this is the 22nd edition.

Reported by Ed Hula.