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  • IOC First in Check-up of Paris Olympic Preparations


    (ATR) The IOC’s second inspection of Paris 2024 progress next week won’t take place in the host city – a first for any coordination commission.
    Marseille will host the sailing events and men's and women's soccer matches in 2024 (Getty Images)

    The IOC’s watchdog for Games preparations would usually descend on the Olympic host city to examine Games plans and visit venues, especially for so early in the cycle of preparations. Paris was only awarded the 2024 Olympics last September.

    But next week’s check-up marks a departure from the norm. Instead, the IOC commission led by Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant will hold its meetings on June 11 and 12 with Paris 2024 officials in Marseille.

    Games organizers said they chose to “delocalize” the IOC’s second co-com to Marseille as the city is “a key element in the Paris 2024 project”.

    The Mediterranean city is set to host all the sailing events as well as football matches in the men’s and women’s tournaments.

    “This second Co-Com will thus provide the opportunity to visit a number of the sites that will serve as a backdrop to the Paris 2024 Games: the Olympic Marina and the Velodrome Stadium, as well as sites for celebration and involving the public, such as the Vieux Port and the J4 Esplanade at the Mucem Museum,” Paris 2024 said in a statement.

    One of the top agenda items is presentation of the new sports chosen by Paris for the Games. Games representatives will join officials from the international federations for breaking (breakdancing), surfing, climbing and skateboarding in laying out their plans for their respective sports to the IOC delegation.

    Paris 2024 will present the four sports to a wider audience at the IOC Session in Lausanne on June 25.

    Among the media activities being staged in Marseille will be demonstrations of urban Olympic sports – breaking, 3x3 basketball, skateboard and BMX – in the presence of French athletes next Tuesday. A climbing demonstration will also be held for the public.

    On Wednesday, Co-Com chair Beckers-Vieujant, Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi and Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet will field questions from media at a press conference that wraps up the IOC visit.

    Olympic Day 2017 in Paris (ATR)
    Paris 2024 has also confirmed plans to celebrate Olympic Day and the country’s Festival of Sport, founded last year, at the same time. A series of events up and down the nation will take place on June 22 and 23. Olympic stakeholders who have joined forces with Paris 2024 to organize the event include the French NOC, the state, the City of Paris and the Île-de-France region.

    Promoting the values of sport and Olympism, and showcasing a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports to the public, more than 700 projects are scheduled over the weekend.

    Highlights include the official opening of the Île-de-France Olympic Water Sports Stadium, venue for canoeing and rowing events at the Paris Games. A celebration of sport will light up the Place de La Concorde in Paris, while races will be staged that will decide the first qualifiers for the Paris 2024 mass-participation marathon.

    “With five years to go before the Paris 2024 Games, France has already set about the task of giving sport and Olympism a more central place in our society,” said French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, adding that newly merged Olympic Day and Festival of Sport promised to be “more popular than ever”.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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