Paris to decide on 2024 Olympics bid in January

Paris to decide on 2024 Olympics bid in January
Paris has bitter memories of losing out on the 2012 Olympics to London. Photo: Neil Rickardts/Flickr
The mayor of Paris said on Friday that a decision over whether Paris would bid for the 2024 Olympics would be made in January. It comes after President François Hollande said he was in favour of the French capital throwing its hat in to the ring.

Hollande had told the French public on Thursday he was in favour of Paris making a bid for the 2024 summer Olympic Games and the 2025 World Expo.

"I am in favour of the city of Paris, if it decides to, putting in a bid for the Olympic Games of 2024. For Paris, capital of France, capital of culture, it's very important," said Hollande during a prime-time television interview.

Despite Hollande's comments, it would be up to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to put in a formal bid and she has been reticent up until now.

On Friday Hidalgo confirmed that any bid would be made in January.

"I want to tell you that nothing and no one will change my schedule and method, in particular with regard to the Paris bid for the Olympic Games, in 2024 or 2028," Hidalgo told a press conference on Friday.

Earlier this year, she suggested that Paris might not be able to afford to put itself forward as host, saying: "We are in a financial and budgetary position today that does not allow me to say that I am making this bid."

France has not hosted a summer Olympics since the Paris Games of 1924, although it held a winter games in Albertville in 1992.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has already spoken out in favour of Paris bidding for the 2025 World Expo, leading many to think it was unlikely the city would also go after the Olympics.

Authorities in the French capital still have bitter memories of being pipped at the post by London for the right to host the 2012 Olympics after appearing to have the bid sown up.

Those behind the Paris bid were accused of arrogance for believing they would be the winning city.

In March a 20-strong French delegation visited London to examine the legacy of the 2012 Olympics in order to learn a few lessons from their British counterparts.

“We are here to see what the legacy of the Olympic Games is,” French Sports Minister Valérie Fourneyron said during a visit to the UK capital's Olympic Park, which hosted most of the events in the 2012 Games.

When asked whether Paris would make a bid to host the Games, Fourneyron refused to commit, saying only: “We won’t be a candidate just for the sake of it. We would be building something for France."

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