The French capital Paris formally entered the race for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games today, at a midday launch event attended by a glittering array of around 50 French sports stars past and present.
On the 121st anniversary of the day when the first Olympic Congress, assembled at Paris’s Sorbonne University, adopted a resolution to revive the Ancient Games, Paris joined Boston, Hamburg and Rome in formally announcing its intention to bid.
The Hungarian capital Budapest and possibly others are similarly expected to join the contest before the September 15 deadline.
The winner is set to be chosen by IOC members in 2017, at the body’s 130th Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
At a crowded launch at the headquarters of the Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français, Bernard Lapasset, the President of World Rugby, who is chairing the bid, said he believed Paris’s goal to host the 2024 Games would “excite, unite and enthuse the people of Paris, our entire nation and lovers of Olympic and Paralympic sport all over the world”.
Anne Hidalgo, the city’s Mayor, who had appeared to take some time before warming to the idea of another bid so soon after the bitter disappointment of the 2012 race when Paris was defeated by London, said that by bidding for the 2024 Games, Paris was “looking forward to an exciting and bold future whilst remaining true to its rich sporting and cultural traditions.
“We will be designing an integrated project with all the talents of the city of Paris and its suburbs and with young people playing a key role,” Hidalgo added.
“We aim to highlight the unity and the solidarity of a cosmopolitan city, which I am sure will be one of the key strengths to win.”
Those attending included Renaud Lavillenie, Olympic gold medallist and pole vault world record holder, Marion Bartoli, the 2013 Wimbledon tennis champion and Teddy Riner, an Olympic gold medallist in judo.
Paris, seen by many as the early frontrunner in the 2024 race, has not staged the Olympics since 1924.
Its last three bids – in 1992, 2008 and 2012 – came to nothing.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.