Ihe Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop), which likes slogans, could have adopted the maxim attributed to Pierre de Courbertin, “The important thing in these Olympics is to take part in them” – more commonly summarized as ” the important thing is to participate “. If it did not explicitly take it up, the management of Paris 2024 was inspired by it in the content of the message addressed to the local authorities, called “to engage” in the Olympic adventure even if they will only see the event from afar. “Anyone can get involved”had launched, in November 2018, Tony Estanguet, the president of Cojop.
The prompt has been heard. As proof: 239 communities have just expressed their willingness to deploy “celebration sites” (fan-zones) labeled “Clubs 2024”. This is in addition to more than 3,200 communities with the “Terre de Jeux” labelcreated at the end of 2028 by Paris 2024, and to the sixty-four “territories” who joined the Olympic Torch Relay route.
To tell the truth, it didn’t take much to stress to the communities the importance of participating. As the leading funders of sport, they made it known very early on that they intended to be part of the summer 2024 event.
This commitment offers tremendous leverage to the organizers of the Games: it is on the “territories” that they rely to reach ” All the french people ” and keep the promise “Popular Games”, through the operations accompanying the event. Like the free distribution (and therefore the purchase) of 600,000 places, supposed to make people forget frustrations over the first two phases of ticket sales.
This, moreover, is an illustration of the corollary of the message ” the important thing is to participate ” : it can be declined in a ” To your good heart “. Because, for the local authorities, participating and having their constituents participate in the Olympic adventure amounts to bearing the burden of these initiatives. No question of counting – or so little – on support from Paris 2024 (4.38 billion euros budget).
The important thing is not only to participate
This situation caused little tension, except for the Olympic torch relay, for which the departments wishing to be on the route had to pay 180,000 euros, which led to a certain number of them not to apply.
However, not intending to be satisfied with the appeals from the foot addressed to them during the Games, some elected officials consider that ” the important thing is to participate “ And ” To your good heart ” They also apply to the State: they urge the government to support them by implementing a policy in favor of sport that is significant – in terms of allocated credits – and sustainable – beyond the period of the Games alone.
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