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Etienne Thobois © Gallo Images

'Why Paris 2024 is made for sharing'



Paris is known for its allure, beauty, romance and fashion but in its bid for Olympic host status in 2024, sharing ranks tops in its proposition Etienne Thobois CEO of the Paris 2024 Olympic bid told supersport.com in Paris.

“Our tagline for the games is ‘made for sharing.’ Everybody shares things today and we want to share experiences, data, time, resources and that’s the way we conceived our bid to share.

“Emotions, passion, ideas, a way of seeing things, in a city where sharing is a way of life.”

The slogan can be better appreciated in its original French form, ‘Venez partager’ which literally translated means “come share”.

Thobois explained that in a technology driven world, it is difficult to predict what the changes to technology will be and what will be required in seven years’ time but perhaps not so difficult with human experiences

“The best you can do is to create a system that allows you to adapt to change.”

Paris has hosted twice before in 1900 and 1924 which means in 2024, it will be exactly 100 years since the last one. Paris, however, is bidding to host the Olympics at a time when many cities around the world are sceptical.

The field of contenders has narrowed to just Paris and Los Angeles after both Hamburg and Rome withdrew their bids for 2024 amid public opposition, while Boston declined to compete.

However, Paris also has been trying to bring the games back to the French capital over the years and this is the fourth bid after narrowly missing out to Barcelona in 1992, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 but Thobois believes this will be different:

ILLUSTRATION OF BOXING DURING THE OLYMPICS DAYS, IN PARIS, FRANCE, ON JUNE 24, 2017 - PHOTO PHILIPPE MILLEREAU / KMSP / PARIS 2024

“We see Paris 2024 as a wonderful platform to share energy. Dynamism is about values

“We wanted to show that there are a lot of people behind us and over time, we have had the ability to reflect on why we wanted to host the games and also what will be our games plan.

"We want to host the games with:

-Passion, fantastic celebration of the games

- Purpose, meaningful legacy, both physical and social, bringing people together.

- Engagement, social business, sharing. Unions are on board. We commit to certain things in our discussions with unions, business and government and special interests like the WWF because we care about the environment.

"What is it we can do together? What do you want to do with it? They all recognise that it’s an opportunity.

“That’s why we’ve tried in the bid in respect to engagement to develop tools that allowed us to reach more people."

VOLLEYBALL DURING THE OLYMPICS DAYS, IN PARIS, FRANCE, ON JUNE 24, 2017 - PHOTO ALAIN GADOFFRE / KMSP / PARIS 2024

Paris has benefitted from decades of public investment in sports infrastructure and that perhaps explains the overwhelming public support and almost no complaints of costs associated with the bid, unlike what we have seen with recent hosts of big international sports events like the World Cup or the Olympics.

“We don’t have huge expenses and we don’t need to build Airports, hotels or Stadiums. The bid is self-financing and we have the structures to finance the games,” said Thobois.

“It’s a small investment. We are talking about $3 billion for the games, infrastructure-wise, which is very modest. Potentially we have that great public support because there is no waste in the way we are approaching this.

“We looked at what we would need as a city long term and that is very much aligned with the needs of the city like swimming.”

A new 17 000-seater aquatic centre is planned which Thobois says will be reduced to s 2 500 seater post games to serve the identified needs for such facility in the neighbourhood.

“A fantastic celebration is guaranteed. We have a great backdrop of having the events within the city centre with great venues around the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, in the Grand Palais, the River sienna, stunning images for media like beach volleyball at the foot of the Eifel Tower.”

CNOSF PRESIDENT DENIS MASSEGLIA, CO-PRESIDENT OF PARIS 2024 CANDIDACY BERNARD LAPASSET AND FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON DURING THE OLYMPICS DAYS, IN PARIS, FRANCE, ON JUNE 24, 2017 - PHOTO PHILIPPE MILLEREAU / KMSP / PARIS 2024

Paris has been experimenting with new technology with expectations of disruptive innovations in the future, like driverless cars and the like.

Earlier this year, two “EZ10” buses embarked on a three-month test over a one-kilometre specially-designated lane linking the Austerlitz and Lyon Stations in the city centre

Jean-Louis Missika, the city’s deputy mayor, told AFP in January: “Autonomous vehicles represent a revolution for every city on the planet [that] will change our urban environment and public space in a spectacular fashion over the next 20 years.”

CNOSF PRESIDENT DENIS MASSEGLIA, CO-PRESIDENT OF PARIS 2024 CANDIDACY TONY ESTANGUET, PARIS MAYOR ANNE HIDALGO AND CO-PRESIDENT OF PARIS 2024 CANDIDACY BERNARD LAPASSET DURING THE OLYMPICS DAYS, IN PARIS, FRANCE, ON JUNE 24, 2017 - PHOTO PHILIPPE MILLEREAU / KMSP / PARIS 2024

Thobois believes we will see more of those possibilities because of past and present developments and also because as humans, we are always asking questions and trying to imagine the future.

“If you look back nine years ago, there was no iPhone but you look at the realities today VR is at an early stage social media is dominant, Facebook, videos in 360 and artificial reality is no longer a concept but a key part of the equation.

“I would say you need to keep up and adapt consistently. In 2024, will cars be driven without drivers? Will they all run on clean energy?

“It’s difficult to predict definitely but we have also seen that the Olympics is a platform that sets trends.

“In 1964, at the Tokyo Games, we had colour TV, speed trains, social legacies you can talk about. In 1900, first Radio broadcasts.

“Innovation is a constant evolution process and what is true today is over in two years’ time. A seven-year journey. It’s presumptuous to say I know what will happen in 2024.”



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