French election will have no impact on Paris bid: Estanguet

Sat Oct 1, 2016 1:38pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - The outcome of next year’s French presidential election will have no bearing on the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games, bid leader Tony Estanguet said on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Rome mayor Virginia Raggi, who was elected in June, announced her opposition to Italy’s bid to host the Games in the capital, killing off the campaign.

The other candidates are Budapest and Los Angeles, with the winner being elected in Lima on Sept. 13, 2017.

Paris would not suffer the same fate as Rome even if the April-May 2017 election pushed president Francois Hollande and his allies out of the Elysee Palace, Paris 2024 co-president Estanguet, a triple Olympic canoeing champion, said.

“That’s part of our strategy at the beginning of the process. If we wanted to bid it was on one condition: that the sports movement be in the leadership at all levels and we are now sure that whatever the result of any political election result it won’t affect the bid,” he told reporters ahead of International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach’s visit to the French national institute of performance (INSEP).

“It’s good also to see that at city level, at national level, all the parties supported the bid. On the left, on the right, they fully support the bid. We are sure that at the moment there is no problem regarding the outcome of the election,” he added.

Recent polls put socialist Hollande in fifth place in the first round with far right leader Marine Le Pen or conservative Alain Juppe in first place.

(Editing by Clare Fallon)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach (L) listens to co-president of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee Tony Estanguet inside the French National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (INSEP) during a visit to the 2024 Olympic games organising committee in Paris, France, October 1, 2016.  REUTERS/Thomas Samson/Pool