WHAT IS THE PROBLEM
Two series of Olympic Games – summer and winter – are now behind us. While Beijing is packing up its podiums, the world of sport is now turning to France.
After the Rugby World Cup, Olympic fever will pick up again with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games – exactly 100 years since the French capital hosted the 1924 Summer Games.
The baton has passed. With a program featuring 32 sports encompassing 306 events, organizers say the Paris Games will be the biggest event France has ever staged. After a hectic period of preparation, how will Paris perform on the world sports scene?
To find out, Stephen Cole of The Agenda is joined by Tony Estanguet, president of the organizing committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
MEET THE EXPERT
Estanguet was France’s flag bearer at the Beijing Games and the first French athlete to win three gold medals in three different Olympiads, triumphing at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012.
Elected to the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee in 2012, Estanquet was heavily involved in the IOIt’s Sustainability and Legacy Commission. He is also vice-president of the International Canoe Federation since 2014.
Asked about the behind-the-scenes challenges, Estanguet told Stephen he’s adamant that the sheer scale of organization required won’t dampen their enthusiasm:
“We will have 869 events to deliver, and for me the main challenge on a daily basis is to maintain a very high level of ambition. This is a unique opportunity and we believe that France has great potential to organize spectacular Games. ” he said.
Paris also promises to deliver a carbon-neutral Games, with much of the organizers’ attention devoted to climate and environmental considerations. Estanguet hopes he will set a standard for future Games.
“We want to try to come up with a new way of delivering games through a more responsible model to reduce the carbon footprint,” he said.
With the Paralympic Games, Tony wants to capture global attention and change public perception. “We have a focus around disability and we are making sure that the Paralympic Games will also help people to be more open to a more inclusive society,” he insisted.