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  • French Papers Debate Paris Olympic Candidacy


    (ATR) Two leading French newspapers have taken opposing viewpoints on a 2024 Olympic bid days before IOC officials are set to visit.

    (Getty Images)
    French newspaper Liberation released an Op-Ed today stating Paris must “[be removed] from the mad race for the Olympics”. Countering that, newspaper Le Monde says that “Paris deserves to organize the 2024 Olympics.”

    The public debate comes at crunch time for Paris 2024. The IOC is set to leave Los Angeles tonight, jetting across to France to inspect Paris 2024 venues and speak with bid organizers. It will be the only time IOC members are permitted to visit the city in an official capacity related to the bid.

    Liberation’s piece questions the estimates behind Paris 2024’s budget as well as claims that lives and services will improve for Parisians because of the Games.

    “We believe that the 'Olympic adventure' which has already led your predecessors to spend 60 million euros in ruins for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, must absolutely stop,” Jean-Marie Brohm and Fabien Ollier write. “Mrs. Hidalgo, follow the wise decisions of your counterparts in Budapest, Rome, Boston, Toronto and Hamburg: do not associate yourself with the social diversion of an expensive Games.”

    Le Monde argues that Paris 2024 concerns will be “swept away” by the change the bid will provide to the Olympic Movement. The editorial board describes the Olympics as a “reasonable investment,” given the jobs created and tourism boost.

    “Let us bet that the French would find in this project a motive of confidence and ambition,” the editorial board writes. “Let us not miss the opportunity to resuscitate the collective optimism [that was created] by the 1998 World Cup. That it was then erased is not a reason to renounce it. On the contrary.”

    CNOSF Election Settled

    Any drama surrounding the French National Committee on Olympic Sports (CNOSF) has subsided.

    Incumbent Denis Masseglia was re-elected this week in the National Olympic Committee’s elections. First runner up Isabelle Lamour initially said she would appeal the decision.

    Today, Lamour and her supporters told French press that she would be dropping the appeal.

    “We recognize the results of the vote; there is no question of embarking on this story, " Jean-Pierre Champion, French Sailing Federation President and Lamour ally, said to L'Equipe.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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