Sports / Olympic Games

Paris fourth entering race for 2024 Olympic Games

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-23 20:52

PARIS - Paris became the fourth city having confirmed to bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games after an official announcement here on Tuesday.

Rome, Boston and Hamburg have already declared their candidacies to stage the 2024 Games, while Budapest is also expected to enter the running.

The French capital, which last hosted the Olympics in 1924, narrowly missed out to London for staging the 2012 Games, following failed bids for the 2008 and 1992 editions respectively to Barcelona and Beijing.

Bernard Lapasset, the head of World Rugby, has been appointed to lead the campaign.

"Paris is delighted to officially confirm its bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games - an important first milestone as our host city campaign journey commences," he said in an official statement.

"We believe that this bid and our goal to host the 2024 Games will excite, unite and enthuse the people of Paris, our entire nation and lovers of Olympic and Paralympic sport all over the world," added the chairman of Paris 2024.

According to the project launched Tuesday, Paris' infrastructure budget for hosting the 2024 Games has been estimated at 3 billion euros, with operational costs of 3.2 billion euros.

The city's existing infrastructure would be at the heart of the project, including the Stade de France, a new cycling track on the outskirts of Paris, the Roland Garros tennis center and many Parisian landmarks like the Grand Palais and Champ de Mars.

Paris may need to build a new swimming pool, an Olympic village and a media center as required in main constructions if bidding for the Games.

Denis Masseglia, president of the French national Olympic committee (CNOSF), confirmed the bid would be planned in line with the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s 2020 Olympic Agenda, which aims to deliver more flexible and less costly Games.

"In line with the IOC's Agenda 2020 strategy, Paris 2024 promises a feasible and flexible Games concept that will be an authentic reflection of the diverse and dynamic cultural, social, environmental and sporting traditions of our local communities, the city and the French people," said Masseglia.

The IOC will decide on the short-list of the candidate cities in 2016, before select the host city in summer 2017.

French President Francois Hollande showed his support though a press release immediately after the announcement.

"On this International Olympic Day, the President of the Republic wishes to salute the French sports movement and the City of Paris, which just announced the Paris bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024," read the statement.

"This is a great project led by a worthy cause in the name of universal values, equality and fraternity enacted by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and defended by the IOC. It is also a unique moment for a generation to come together and show the world France in this its best.

The president called up the whole nation to come up in realizing it together.

"The state will do its utmost to support the sports movement and support this candidature to be exemplary on the environmental, economic and citizen," it added. "The President of the Republic ensures Bernard Lapasset and the sports movement with all his support."

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who was reticent for a long time, stood firmly with the president and other supporters.

"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," she said.

The mayor said that one factor that changed her mind was how millions of Parisians came onto the streets in a demonstration of unity to mourn victims of the January attacks by Islamist gunmen on a satirical weekly and Jewish foodstore.

Paris' bid for the 2024 Games has been backed by the city council on April 13 and further boosted later as the regional council of Ile de France passed a resolution on May 7 to give its backing.

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