French President, Emmanuel Macron, praised the "spirit of unity" of the successful Paris bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games today at a welcoming ceremony at the Élysée Palace for the team returning victorious from the International Olympic Committee’s 131st Session in Lima.
Macron described the success of Paris, officially confirmed as the 2024 host on Wednesday (September13) with Los Angeles being given the 2028 Games, as something that would "reverberate through time", adding that the bid had prevailed "when many doubted, and were sceptical."
Macron added: "It is a story of passion and commitment," paying tribute to the role played by his two predecessors - François Hollande, "the first" to "carry this ambition", and Nicolas Sarkozy, who "helped convince" the IOC.
Both men were present at the welcome reception in the Élysée Palace.
The President also praised the leading role played by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the head of the Ile-de-France Region, Valérie Pécresse, and their predecessors in an award that had long been sought .
He noted that, after three failed attempts, the Olympics were returning to Paris a hundred years after those of 1924.
The Paris 2024 delegation had enjoyed a red carpet welcome after touching down shortly before 10.00am CET at Roissy airport.
The team members walked the red carpet through lines of television cameras before posing for the official photo.
Before the aircraft drew to a halt, the pilots deployed the flags of France, Paris 2024 and the city of Paris through the cockpit windows, while water lances welcomed the return of the delegation – an honour and a tradition reserved for great occasions.
Hidalgo was the first to leave the plane, waving a large French flag, with the Bid Co-Chairman and triple Olympic canoeing champion Tony Estanguet at her side.
Next to appear were the Sports Minister, Laura Flessel, and two-time Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner.