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  • Paris 2012 Hopes for Le Bon Weekend


    Paris 2012 signs and flags decorate Roland Garros for the 2005 French Open. (ATR) 
    (ATR) From Roland Garros tennis stadium to the rowing canal near Versailles, organizers of the Paris bid for the 2012 Olympics hope to impress with a weekend of sports events. On Sunday the Champs Elysee turns into the site of an Olympics sports festival.

    "We want to show two things. We want to show that we can organize big events and secondly we want to show France is really sports-minded and completes the idea of welcoming the Games and that France is ready to welcome the Games," Paris 2012's Philippe Baudillon tells Around the Rings.

    For the first time in the Paris campaign for the Olympics bid signage was part of the corporate branding for the French Open at Roland Garros. Last year international promotion was still barred under IOC rules, leaving Paris, London and New York City unable to promote themselves at their hometown Grand Slam events. While the U.S. Open takes place two months after the IOC vote, the colors of the London bid are expected to fly at the end of this month at Wimbledon.

    Baudillon says the presence of IOC members at this year?s French Open has been limited. Russia?s Tamil Tarpischev, head of the Russian Tennis federation came to Paris, and former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch is expected for his customary trip to Roland Garros for Sunday?s men?s final.

    Federation presidents s
    Paris bid leader Philippe Baudillon at Roland Garros. (ATR) 
    potted at Roland Garros included Francesco Ricci Bitti of the International Tennis Federation and Chungwon Choue of the World Taekwondo Federation.

    For Paris 2012, the big event of the weekend comes on Sunday when the Champs Elysee is decked-out with demonstration areas for the 28 Olympic sports. Organizers say they expect 500,000 to turn out for the sports festival.

    Coming June 6: On the scene coverage from IOC headquarters of the release of the IOC Evaluation Commission report on the 2012 candidate cities, plus reaction compiled by Around the Rings? team of expert journalists. Watch for developments at, for subscribers only.