IOC Evaluation Commission impressed by Paris passion

By Sportswriter Su Bin

PARIS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission head was impressed by the Paris bid committee's expertise and passion as the 11-member delegation wrapped up their three-day visit here for the 2024 Olympic Games bid here on Tuesday.

"The expertise, the motivation, the passion and enthusiasm shown by this team was very impressive," commented IOC Evaluation Commission chairman Patrick Baumann at a press conference.

The delegation had a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday morning. For Baumann, it was another confirmation that the French capital's bid received a strong support from the top-level government.

"We had a very good discussion. This discussion left no doubt to us that the Paris 2024 bid has a very strong, solid support of public authorities at all levels, from the highest level right down to the city of Paris," he said.

Baumann described the proposed Olympic venues that he visited on Monday as "remarkable". He thought that the Paris bid committee has developed an excellent proposal built around a robust game concept.

"I must say that the venues and sites are remarkable. We see sites which are built around historical buildings and landmarks which are of extraordinary beauty throughout the city of Paris.

Baumann revealed that Evaluation Commission members will meet at the end of this month to finalize the report for the 2024 bids, before publishing it on July 5.

After spending ten days in a nonstop visit to Los Angeles and Paris, Baumann was careful on weighing both cities' pros and cons.

"We are fortunate to have two candidatures that do not present major risks for hosting the Olympic Games in 2024. In fact, both cities can.

"Both cities have the Olympic tradition and the venues that we need to use. Both cities are obviously different in historic and cultural background, and the way of how sport is organized in the respective countries, but if you are asking whether there are any concerns that might pose a threat, we do not see any," he said.

The IOC are weighting on the change of the bidding procedure, in order to split the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to the two candidate cities. But for Baumann and the Evaluation Commission, their job is to finalize the report at the end of May, while IOC vice presidents will work on this particular issue of viability during the course of June.

On the other hand, the Paris bid only put the 2024 Games on their radar.

"It's quite clear since the beginning of the last few days that we are here to only target 2024. We are not here to discuss 2028 with the IOC," said Paris bid committee co-president Tony Estanguet.

Bid committees from both cities will head to Lausanne, Switzerland for their respective presentation in IOC headquarter in July. According to Estanguet, Macron wanted to be present for the presentation of the bid in Lausanne.

"The next step for us on this chapter will be Lausanne. Until this date, we have to concentrate only on 2024," added the three-time Olympic champion.

The IOC members will vote for the 2024 Games host city at the session in Lima, Peru on September 13.

[ Editor: meng ]


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