Paris bid has no worry like Rome, says Estanguet

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/10/2 11:22:29

Paris 2024 Co-Chairman Tony Estanguet told media here Saturday that the possible withdrawal of Rome has no impact on the French capital's bid and the two historical cities don't share the worries when it comes to Olympic candidacy.

Just 10 days ago, Rome mayor Virginia Raggi announced her opposition to the Italian capital city's bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, citing financial and corruption risk concerns.

The investments and costs needed to successfully host such a big event would be too high for the debt-ridden city, according to Raggi.

Estanguet, however, declined to take financial problem a major concerns.

"We don' t have any budget problem. It could not be possible," said the 38-year-old triple Olympic gold medals winner of canoe slalom. "One of the fact about Paris 2024 is that we already have 95% of existing venues and we only miss an aquatic center. So we speak not about a bid budget."

"We planned to have 3 billion euros with margin in case, as anything can happen. We definitely believe that one of the strengths of our bid is responsible.

"This is the fourth bid of Paris, and since the beginning we never give up. We continued to invest on sport, to build venues, and that's why we have now already the Velodrome, the canoeing venue, the new rugby arena and the new Bercy.

"We come back in this competition stronger," he said, adding that 40 major championships of Olympic sports have been organized during last year in Paris.

"We are partners with international federations and with the Olympic movement. It's not just one shot. We'll continue," he said. "We believe in the power of sports, and that's why we want to keep our promises."

Estanguet and his co-bid leader Bernard Lapasset were accompanying IOC president Thomas Bach on a two-day visit to Paris, during which the 62-year-old German was given a tour of France's National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP) on Saturday.

Bach, who will greet French President Francois Hollande on Sunday, has already visited another two candidate cities for the 2024 Games, Los Angeles and Budapest, ahead of Paris and will meet Italian officials next week though the Rome bid had been vetoed by the city council.

Talking about the impact of Rome's possible withdrawal, Estanguet said: "So far I don't think there's a major effect. We'll wait for the final decision with Rome. But we haven't take into consideration of this information 'cause it's not done. And also because we have so many to deal with our project. We're focus on our side."

In the other hand, Paris bid is fully backed by the mayor and the city hall, according to Estanguet.

"The mayor of paris is really, really, really committed to the bid since the beginning," he said. "She went the full direction of the Games. She loves sport. She loves the bid. And she believes in the legacy that this bid could leave for this territory of Paris...She's very supportive."

Estanguet is also confident that the outcome of next year's French presidential election will not impact on Paris bid, which enjoys significant political support.

"That's part of the strategy at the beginning of the process that we want to bid at one condition that the sport movement was the leadership, and would be with the majority of all the governmental levels," he said.

"And we're now sure that whatever the result of any political elections, it won't affect the bid. And again it's good also to see that at the city level and the national level, all the parties supported the bid.

"We are very sure that at the moment there's no problem with the presidential election," emphasized Estanguet.

The IOC is due to vote on the host city for 2024 at its general meeting in Lima on September 13, 2017.

Posted in: Europe, Olympics

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