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Paris officially joins race for 2024 Olympic Games

AFP · 23 Jun 2015, 12:45

Published: 23 Jun 2015 12:45 GMT+02:00

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Paris, which failed in bids for the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, joined the US city of Boston, Rome and Germany's Hamburg as candidates for the Games in 2024, 100 years on from the last time the Olympics were staged in the French capital.
Bernard Lapasset, chairman of World Rugby and future head of the bidding committee, said he wanted Paris 2024 to "innovate, smile, move and win" in a ceremony announcing the launching of the candidacy process.
Bid-backing Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo invited all Parisians to show their support for the French capital's initiative by gathering along the banks of the river Seine later Tuesday.
Paris will roll out an Olympic declaration with more political and state pomp on July 14 when a national parade is held along the Champs-Elysees.
French President François Hollande has been keen on a bid and called on the French people to unite behind the Paris 2024 campaign.
"Paris20204 will be a huge mobilisation of our country. To want the Games is to want to share a huge event. It can be achieved together," the president tweeted.
After the disappointment of being beaten by Beijing and London respectively for the last two Olympics, French officials are leaving nothing to chance this time.
Tony Estanguet, France's triple Olympic canoe champion who will be one of the bid leaders alongside Lapasset, played down reports that Paris was already the favourite to win.
"The race is over on the final day and the moments leading up to that serve to build confidence and increase power," Estanguet said.
"Don't count on us to put ourselves out there as favourites. We won't. We have a lot of work ahead of us."   
Experts in France have already proposed how Paris could manage the games, with beach volleyball suggested for the parks below the Eiffel Tower, the football to be played at the Parc au Princes, and the Invalides Esplanade suggested to play host to the archery competition.
What an Olympic Games in Paris would look like   
On the financial side, French organisers say the cost will be about €6 billion ($6.8 billion) and they will get a big chunk of that from the IOC.
Bids must be officially submitted by September 15 this year and the International Olympic Committee will only make a decision at a congress in Lima on September 15th, 2017.
Story continues below…
The campaign will be long however and other cities could still enter.
The Azerbaijan capital, Baku, which is hosting the first European Games, could soon make a pitch, Olympic officials said. The Qatar capital Doha is also considering a move.
Paris and Boston are considered frontrunners. The United States has not staged a summer Olympics since 1996 while 2024 would be the centenary of the last time the Games were in the French capital.
But Olympic officials say that new bid rules intended to make it cheaper and less onerous to host 10,000 athletes for two weeks should help outsiders.
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