Paris Prepares Responses for Few IOC 'Challenges'

(ATR) The IOC sprinkled its concerns throughout the Evaluation Commission report, but Paris is ready with explanations

(ATR) The IOC delivered high marks to the Paris 2024 concept, and bid organizers tellAround the Ringsthey are prepared to respond to the few issues that remain.

The full reports from the IOC 2024 Evaluation Commission went online today. In an introductory video Evaluation Commission chair Patrick Baumann called each bid "outstanding". When describing Paris’ bid, Baumann described the "stunning backdrop" of the historical aspects of the city to distinguish it from Los Angeles.

The Evaluation Commission said that Paris had "all that it takes and more" to host an Olympic Games. Throughout the report the commission highlighted "challenges" that the bid would need to address to prevent hiccups in the Games project.

For Paris the challenges include creating an Olympic atmosphere in the Paris zone, worries over timeliness of the Seine River cleanup, funding and overrun guarantees for venues, land acquisition, achieving sport participation goals, traffic management, security costs, and detailing organization roles.

A Paris 2024 spokesperson answered ATR's questions about the challenges listed, offering a prelude for what is certainly to come at scheduled meetings with IOC members next week.

"All guarantees have or are being provided, and with regards to the Village, the release of the necessary land will follow if Paris is elected as Host City for 2024," the spokesperson said. "If we are successful then there is a process already agreed by all parties to guarantee and move forward on the Village project.

"The need for Olympic legislation, including on budgets, is normal for host cities. We have a clear plan on this and there is full support from the French President."

In the report a new, independent IOC poll showed that Paris had 63 percent support for the Olympic Games. That number is down from 85 percent in 2005 from the Paris 2012 bid. A bid spokesperson said independent polling from Odoxa showed 73 percent of respondents favor organizing the Games, and the attendance for the city’s Olympic Day speaks for itself.

"We have strong public support for our bid and since the IOC's poll in February we know levels of support at city, regional and national levels have continued to grow," the spokesperson added.

Security was one of the areas that Paris received praise from the IOC. The rising costs of security operations was listed by the IOC as a concern, but the report delivered high marks for the city’s efforts. Paris has seen numerous security incidents this year, and the city had seen tourist numbers dwindle as a result.

Bid leaders continually stressed that security was a priority for the bid, a sentiment shared by the IOC.

"We are pleased that the steps that have been taken in France and the safe delivery of many public and sporting events is recognized by the report," the Paris spokesperson said.

Bid Leaders Believe in Report Highlights

With the glowing remarks from the IOC, Paris must now turn its attention to meeting as many IOC members as it can next week.

The IOC will meet in Lausanne on July 11-12 to discuss a proposal surrounding a dual award of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. The Extraordinary Session lines up with final presentation times allotted for each bid city in Lausanne.

Each city will have a presentation room in the SwissTech Convention Center to directly interact with IOC members following the session and final candidate briefings.

Following the Evaluation Commission report, Paris 2024 co-chair Bernard Lapasset said in a statement the findings were a "real boost to our work" in the bid.

"We are particularly pleased that the IOC recognized that this is an athlete-focused plan and that all athletes, media, and spectators will have a great Games experience in Paris 2024," Tony Estanguet, Paris 2024 co-chair added in a statement. "We will use all of the points made in the report to continue to improve our work and we are very much looking forward to presenting our bid to the IOC Members in Lausanne next week."

Written by Aaron Bauer

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