Preparations are on track for the 2024 Paris Olympics, said the organizing committee head on Wednesday, stressing a strong focus on not breaking the bank to respect promises made to the French public.
“The first principle is that we want to maintain the public investment amount at about €1.5 billion euros [$1.8 billion]. And it is a priority not to increase this investment,” Tony Estanguet, a three-time Olympic medalist in canoeing, told the six-day SportAccord convention in Bangkok, Thailand.
For the third time Anadolu Agency is the media sponsor of SportAccord, which concludes on April 20.
“If we have to reduce the legacies [of the games infrastructures], we will do it, because we made this commitment to the public that we will not overuse their money,” Estanguet told reporters.
The Olympics organizer also said the games will be the “biggest ever organized in France,” taking place exactly 100 years after the first Paris Olympic Games in 1924.
“Many, many companies want to be part of this project. We are quite confident, because there is a big appetite at this moment in France around this project,” he said.
The organizing committee has started talking with potential sponsors, even if the final agreements will not be concluded before January 2019.
Even so, Estanguet insisted on the importance of limiting the cost of the games, explaining that there is a consensus in the sports world on this issue.
“SportAccord is really useful for us. We can see that there is now a general agreement that the games can’t continue to be bigger and bigger. If we continue to make it bigger, it will be harder and harder to find new organizers for the coming years,” he said.
For instance, adding new sports to the games cannot be done without cutting other parts of the program.
The Paris 2024 president stressed French President Emmanuel Macron's enthusiasm for the Paris games.
“He is very committed to promoting France at the international level. He’s very committed to Paris 2024. I was in discussion with him last week and I can tell you how much he is connected to this whole project. He really wants the best for France,” said Estanguet.
By Arnaud Dubus
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