Did you know that Paris had suffered three defeats in Olympic bids for the last two and a half decades? Paris was in contention for the 2012 bid that was awarded to London. However, this changed last week when Paris was chosen to host the 2024 summer Olympics. At the same event, Los Angeles was selected to host the 2028 summer Olympics. There were signs of relief in the sports world and the political world when L’Equipe announced that the city had been selected. In French, the headline of the newspaper read “ENFIN” meaning finally. One thing that we know about the Olympic bidding process is the opaqueness of the process. However, France seems to have succeeded by learning from its past mistakes. The New York Times reported some few things that the French bidders might have improved on.
Minding about sports and athletes
The 2012 Paris bid failure was attributed to the political heat that came along. The nation, therefore, decided to focus on French athletes during the 2024 bid. According to Vero Communications president Mike Lee, for any Olympic bid to go through, it must put sports at the center, more than politics. Mike played an important role in the international and message communication of the 2024 Olympics bid. The British lobbyist said in a recent interview that he discredited the French bid in 2012 on the argument that it lacked sports leadership.
This has led to the monopolization of the message by the French athletes. The successful 2024 bid began in 2015. Prominent people in this bid included track and field champion Marie Amerlie Le Fur, Olympic and Paralympic champion Teddy Riner of Judo as well as Olympic canoeing champion Tony Estanguet. Tony Estanguet was the president of the Paris bid. The same message was echoed by former French President Francois Hollande who emphasized on the importance of the state stepping back. The former president said that the important bit of the bid was the role of sport world rather than public authorities.
Politics play a role anyway
Despite the expression that sports should come above politics, French political leaders had a say in the bid. For instance, the bid was first announced by Francois Hollande. He further made significant lobbying when he attended the 2016 Rio Olympics. And just the other day, Emanuel Macron decided to use his image in Lausanne, Switzerland when he tried to convince the bidding committee to choose Paris over Los Angeles.