In six months’ time the International Olympic Committee will take its decision on who will host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Choosing the partner that will organise the world’s greatest sporting event is an incredibly difficult job for the IOC. Drawing on the experience acquired in recent campaigns, Paris 2024 is now even more determined than ever and ready to meet the challenge, a century after the last Summer Games organised in France with the inspiration of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
I was fortunate enough to experience the Olympics early on. They have definitely inspired me in my career, helping me to become a more complete individual well beyond the competitive arena and the quest for performance. They have enriched my spirit and given meaning to my commitment.
The memory I retain of my first Olympics as a spectator is of the universality of an event unlike any other. Of my first opening ceremony, I remember the amazing solidarity between all peoples. That period of my life has given me an abiding appetite for hard work, respect and the quest for excellence.
Now a member of the IOC and co-president of Paris 2024, I am motivated by the desire to share the passion which drives me in my daily life with young people around the globe.
The 2024 Olympic Games in France would be a unique opportunity to welcome the whole world by offering a spectacular celebration in a Paris transformed into an Olympic park, from the Invalides to the Eiffel Tower, from the Grand Palais to the Champs-Elysées. For the visitors, athletes, volunteers, spectators, journalists and all the others who come to experience the event, our vision is of a Games that will go down both in History and in their own personal histories, that will mark their lives as it has marked mine. In 2024 we want to offer the world a popular and joyful celebration open to as many as possible, a moment when people come together as never before.
I am convinced that Paris 2024 is the partner of trust that the IOC needs. The partner that can set the Games on the path of responsibility, thinking of the legacy as much as the celebration and having a decisive impact on education through sport, inclusion, health and mixing.
France has the facilities and the know-how to organise major events. All the players in civil society are united behind a project in the national interest. After four bids, Paris and France are stronger and more determined than ever. We are ready to share an Olympic Games that will stand out in history.
By taking up the challenge of an Olympics as spectacular and as enduring as ever, with the IOC we will set a new benchmark both in budget terms, taking a controlled approach, and in terms of sustainability, with exemplary social and environmental governance. Above all, Paris 2024 will constitute a major legacy for France, replicable on the international scene. Paris 2024 will open a new chapter in an Olympic movement that demonstrates even more solidarity between Games, confirming the IOC’s initial promise of creating a better world through sport.
Paris 2024 gives us the means to show that the Olympic Games can be an opportunity for organising cities and that the Olympic movement is an opportunity for the whole world. Paris 2024 gives us the means to help revive cities’ interest in this marvellous event so that the Olympic movement continues to inspire people all over the world.
A few weeks away from a landmark decision in the IOC’s history, our ambition is to think about what comes after and about others. About what comes after, because the Olympics will give fresh momentum to the regions of a country, France, whose hunger for the Olympic movement is keener than ever, and for people all over the world, by encouraging sport. About others, precisely because this project, a meaningful one which will create value for the Olympic movement, is intended to be shared with the whole world in order to strengthen its spirit of humanity and community.
First published in Le Huffington Post.