By Mike Rowbottom |
Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris and head of the Paris 2024 delivery body SOLIDEO, has emphasized a sense of responsibility to organize a Games of “extraordinary value.”
Addressing members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination Commission, which concludes a two-day visit to the French capital today, Hidalgo spoke with quiet passion about the role Paris can play in terms of sending out a worldwide message.
“There are many doubts within Europe right now,” she said here.
“We want to give a strong message about the European project.
“We have a responsibility to deliver a grand moment in terms of fraternity.
“We need to show we can have a durable Games that is useful to the general population, and in particular to the region of Seine-Saint-Denis, and to the banlieues.
“These Games can accelerate the economic development of Seine-Saint-Denis.
“We also need to show a Games that makes real changes in terms of inclusivity, and changing access and attitudes as far as those with disability are concerned.”
Seine-Saint-Denis has a hugely diverse population, embracing 200 nationalities.
It is also reported to have the highest percentage of young people of any of the 105 French departments.
“Thirty five per cent of our population is less than 25-years-old,” the Seine-Saint-Denis Mayor, Stéphane Troussel, told the IOC delegation.
“Paris 2024 will accelerate the sporting, economic, cultural and educational growth of the region.”
The sporting legacy will include two permanent pools built alongside the Stade de France, and three new temporary pools that will be transferred from their Games location next to the permanent facility and installed in other parts of the department.
In terms of the availability of sports equipment, Seine-Saint-Denis is currently ranked 103rd out of France’s list of departments.
Emmanuelle Assmann, President of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, underlined Hidalgo’s aspirations for the Games on the subject of inclusivity and disability.
“We are seeking to make changes on diversity and disability before, during and after the Paris 2024 Games,” said the Athens 2004 wheelchair fencing bronze medalist.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.