(ATR) The French bid opens its international campaign declaring the nation is united for the Olympics.
Along with its two rivals Los Angeles and Budapest, the French capital made its case for the Games at the Association of National Olympic Committees general assembly in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.
The three Olympic bids delivered their first international presentations to the ANOC assembly, a group representing the 205 national Olympic committees in the world.
The team of speakers included Olympic judo gold medalist Teddy Riner, Olympic canoeing champion and bid co chair Tony Estanguet, fellow co chair Bernard Lapasset, and Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Each city had 20 minutes with the ANOC delegates.
"Just as France’s political leaders are united behind our bid, so is the entire nation in all its diversity, from the business community to high school students, who are demonstrating amazing levels of engagement," said Lapasset in English.
Riner, perhaps the most dominant judoka in generations, spoke in French. The co president of the bid’s athletes commission, Riner says Paris will offer Olympians "a single, well-located Village – and short journey times to training and competition".
"The athletes also told us that the Games should be a special moment in their career, a moment they remember forever. From incredible venues, which Paris 2024 will deliver, to full stadia across all sessions and all sports," promised Riner.
Bid CEO Etienne Thobois, a 1996 Olympian in badminton, appeared in a video to explain the Paris venue plan, along with IOC member Guy Drut, Olympians Sarah Ourahmoune and Sophie Lorant and Paralympian Michaël Jeremiasz.
Mayor Hidalgo spoke in French less about sport than bigger issues she says the Olympic Games could address.
"It is clear that the greatest challenge of our century is that of climate change. Human life and our planet itself depend on our ability to meet this challenge. It is an absolute emergency and there is no more place for skepticism. It is up to us to accept the climate challenge on behalf of our children. The Games are the engine, and Paris wants to be the catalyst," she said.
Estanguet closed the presentation with a pledge that Paris would deliver Games with "passion and purpose".
He told Around the Rings afterwards that he was pleased with the message Paris delivered.
"I was happy and satisfied with this presentation because we delivered the authenticity of the bid and we had a chance to really show the Olympic movement and engage with the Olympic family. We come from sport, our bid is led by sport people and we have a great expertise."
The IOC will decide the 2024 race next September at the IOC Session in Lima, Peru.
Written by Ed Hulain Doha.
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