Paris says ready to host 2024 summer Olympics months before IOC decision
Deniz ÇİYAN - VAL CENIS VANOISE, FranceWith around 95 percent of the venues already in place within 10 kilometers of Paris, the city is ready to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, said the bid’s integration head.
Lambis Konstantinidis, the head of the Sports and Paralympic Integration of the Paris 2024 candidature bid, told journalists that Paris, also known as the “city of lights,” was almost already ready to be the host city of the international summer games in 2024.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is set to decide on which of the two candidate cities – Paris or Los Angeles – gets to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, on Sept. 13, in Peru, Lima.
Stating that around 95 percent of the venues to be used during the 33 different sports games are readily constructed and being used, Konstantinidis said the only venue the city missed was an aquatic center, which would be left to Parisians to use after the games.
Giving examples on why only around 5 percent of the venues would be constructed, he said the two large gardens on each side of the iconic Eiffel Tower would be turned into beach volleyball and triathlon pitches. While the marathon swimming would take place on the Seine River flowing through Paris, fencing would take place at the Grand Palais.
“All sports branches will be held in Paris,” Konstantinidis told a group of 168 journalists from 28 countries attending the yearly event of the Ski Club of International Journalists (SCIJ) in France’s picturesque Val Cenis mountain resort last week.
“Except for equestrian, which will be held in Versailles; rowing and canoeing, which will be held to the east near Disneyland; and sailing that will be held in Marseilles,” he said, adding that the vast majority of the sports in Paris will be within the 10 kilometer-radius of the city.
While the final football game will be held in Paris, the matches leading to the final will be held in different stadiums across the country.
Placing great importance for the Paralympic games, the Paris bid candidature’s integration head said the total budget of the whole organization was $6.2 billion. While $3.2 billion of this money was allocated for the budget of the organization of the games, the rest, $3 billion, was public and private investments that would be used for the Olympic, Paralympic and Media villages.
Touching upon the strong infrastructure of Paris and especially the vast means of transportation inside and around the city, Konstantinidis said from an “image and infrastructure point of view,” the city of lights was “by far the best option,” for the bid.