It would be fair to say that France has certainly benefited from its fair share of major events over the years – although this is entirely of their own doing. In other words, after proving to be such an impressive host in a variety of sports including football and handball, it should come as no surprise that they are now preparing for the 2024 Olympics.
While there were a number of valid candidates vying to host the event, in the end France came out comfortably on top.
In a recent, open speech to the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, President François Hollande was keen to emphasize just why France is the ideal location for the Games.
Let’s take a look at what the President commented on.
This first point should come as completely expected as to reiterate the history-factor, France have hosted more than their fair share of events (although again, this is of great credit to them).
Over the years there are umpteen locations which have emerged as possibilities for major events. Some of this is due to the progressive nature of domestic sport in France, while others are due to the other major events which have contributed to the development of various venues.
On top of the above, extensive plans have been devised for the Olympic Village. As past Games have taught us, this is a key element, yet France’s history in quickly erecting successful venues and other facilities such as gyms and training facilities for olympic athletes suggest that this will be another resounding success.
A point should also be raised about climate change. As we all know, France is a huge advocate of this and has numerous policies in place to do its bit for the world becoming as green as possible. This appears to be translating into the built environment in relation to sporting venues as well, with the President suggesting that all will be built with this in mind.
With the world subjected to additional troubles over recent times (more on this later), the unity-factor was something else that was drawn upon by the President.
In simple terms, everyone is in the Games together. In the words of the President himself, he didn’t shy away from the fact that political rifts and other arguments are commonplace in the country.
Despite the above, everyone has rallied behind Team France. It means there is immense enthusiasm behind the games, and everyone has been singing from the same hymn sheet from day one.
Reassurances about security
This is the point that might raise the most concerns amongst the general public, particularly as France has been susceptible to the threats of terrorism over the last few years.
This was an interesting point made by the President, not least of all because he acknowledged it. He also claimed that he was asked about it several times by Games organizers – which perhaps highlights some of the worries that are lingering over this event.
It’s worth honing in on all of the other major events that France have hosted. While the likes of Euro 2016 will grab all the headlines, as it’s such a huge spectacle, let’s not forget that there have been over 40 world and continental championships across a variety of sports over recent years. Not one security incident has occurred at these events and this, coupled with the fact that the President announced security as the top priority, means that concerns about this issue have certainly been eased recently.
Values encouraging youth
There’s no doubt that the world is attempting to encourage youth to participate within sport as much as possible, and this seems to be another core element of France’s pledge for the Games.
The President made a big case about the values that are shared by both the country and the Olympics and specifically, how these can affect young people. The driving message was that the country wants young people to get excited about the Games – and this doesn’t just apply to young people in France. It applies to youth all over the world, to again emphasize the unity that the Olympics is all about.
The historical element
As we have alluded to through this guide, France and Paris in particular certainly have plenty of history when it comes to major events.
Something that many people don’t realize is the history in relation to France and the Olympics though. While France has hosted the event on numerous occasions, the last time that Paris was a host city was in 1924. This is very apt considering the circumstances; it will be one-hundred years exactly when the French capital hosts it again.
This was celebrated by the President, who gifted the Olympic flag from the 1924 games to Thomas Bach.
A closing note on the 2024 Olympic Games
It’s clear that France is one of the best-armed cities when it comes to hosting an Olympic Games. It has been at the center of numerous major sporting events over the years, and it’s also a country which seems to embrace the true values of the Games.
It’s a country that accepts that there are security concerns, but at the same time makes every effort to promote unity through its people and those attending. When this is coupled with the fact that it will be a century exactly since Paris initially hosted the Games, there is a notable charm about the upcoming event.