Exclusive: Many factors will decide if Paris bid for 2024 Olympics says French Olympic Committee President

Thursday, 15 November 2012
By Tom Degun

Denis-MassegliaNovember 15 - French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) President Denis Masseglia (pictured) has admitted that Paris are still undecided on a bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics and that they will not simply proceed with one to mark the 100 year anniversary of the last Games in the city.

The French capital has been unsuccessful in three previous bids to host the Games in 1992, 2008 and 2012, with the latter bid marking a spectacular failure for Paris as they were beaten by London in the final round of International Olympic Committee (IOC) voting by just four votes despite having been heavy favourites.

France's misery was compounded last summer when Annecy were crushed in their bid to host the 2018 Winter Games as they received just seven votes, losing out to eventual winners Pyeongchang.

It was considered widely to be one of the worst Olympic bids in history and led to a wide ranging review in France. 

Paris-2012-001 Paris were left reeling after losing out in their bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

But France's continued attempts to host the Games have drawn sympathy from the IOC and it is expected that they would be formidable contenders if they launched a 2024 bid, especially with the year marking the 100 year anniversary of the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

But Masseglia explained that it was not so simple.

While there is a groundswell of support for a potential bid from Paris within the IOC history proves that members do not back a campaign just because it is of historical significance.

Athens, for example, lost out on a bid for the 1996 Olympics and Paralympics to Atlanta even though those Games marked the centenary of the Modern Games in the Greek capital.

"We have Olympic ambitions," Masseglia told insidethegames.

"We like the Games and we have the will to serve the Olympic Movement.

"But we have bid several times in recent years through Paris and Annecy and we have lost.

"Now we have to reflect on why we lost and we are currently looking carefully into the reasons why we were defeated in our previous bids.

"With 2024, the centenary of Paris is not a good enough reason to bid.

"It is a good opportunity but it is not enough of a reason on its own to launch a bid."

The CNOSF President also said that the current 2020 bid race would have a bearing on a Paris bid.

Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo are all currently bidding for 2020 and Masseglia feels that the IOC may be unlikely to stage two Summer Games in a row in Europe if either Istanbul or Madrid is awarded the Games.

paris overviewParis is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities

"Europe has had the Games many times in recent years and the IOC may want to take the Olympics to other parts of the world," he said.

"We had Athens in 2004, we had London in 2012 and we have two European cities for the 2020 Games in Madrid and Istanbul.

"So we will see after the 2020 Games are awarded what we will do."

Masseglia added that the French will also be looking out for the other potential 2024 bidders, where the race to host the Games could be one of the strongest in history.

America are likely to bid after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) resolved their revenue sharing dispute with the IOC this year while any African bid to bring the Olympics and Paralympics to the continent for the first time ever is also likely to be very strong.

"We need to look carefully at the geopolitical aspects of the candidates for both the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Games," said Masseglia.

"We know that Africa have never organised the Games so far and that is a factor.

"Another factor is that the United States wants to come back because the relationship between the IOC and USOC is now strong again.

"There is also a lot that will depend on the IOC members because some of them will change in the coming years and it is important for us to get a good feeling from all the members.

"Maybe the IOC will prefer to take the Games to new countries but maybe they will want to take it to us.

"For our part, we must know what conditions we need to provide to hope for success.

"Not to succeed, but to hope to succeed.

"So there are a lot of situations that mean it is not yet clear what decision we will take.

"We would love to organise the Games and to serve the Movement but when and how; I don't know.

"It is too early now at this time to say anything definitely about this."

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz
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