By Robert Fawdon, Paris, France: 23 June 2016: Exactly a year to the day since the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid was officially launched on Olympic Day 2015, a Paris 2024 stakeholder meeting is being held to mark Olympic Day 2016 in Salle Greard at the Sorbonne University in central Paris where Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the IOC on 23rd June 1894.
Led by Paris 2024 Co-Chairman, Tony Estanguet; French NOC President, Denis Masseglia; and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the meeting will discuss the progress of the bid, the development of the second phase of the Bid Book and plans for Rio 2016.
Throughout the day thousands of school children from across Paris and Saint-Denis are also taking part in a festival of Olympic sport in the French capital city in a celebration of sport and the unique spirit of Olympism.
In one of many examples, children this morning are taking part in sports activities in Paris’ 13th Arrondissement – a city centre district close to the Paris Arena I which will host Olympic Judo and the final phase of the Olympic Basketball competition at Paris 2024 and the Wheelchair Basketball competition at the Paralympic Games.
Later today children will participate in Olympic sports activities alongside French Olympians in Marville in northern Paris where Olympic Water Polo will take place if Paris wins the right to host the Games in 2024. Olympic Bronze Medallist Muriel Hurtis, Basketball player Yannick Souvré and Volleyball Player Laurent Chambertin are among the Olympians that will take part.
Mayor Hidalgo will also join Tony Estanguet and Denis Masseglia at the sporting celebrations following the official draw for the 2017 World Men’s Handball Championships which will be held in January 2017 in eight cities across France, including Paris.
A special ceremony will be held in Marville to celebrate the signing of the Seine Saint-Denis/Paris Convention – a memorandum of collaboration between Paris and Saint-Denis – the Paris suburb which will be home to the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre and Athletes’ and Media Villages at the 2024 Games.
The agreement aims to:
* Boost transport links between the two cities
* Stimulate technological, social and environmental innovation
* Promote sport for all across the region
* Share and promote cultural initiatives – especially among young people
At 10pm tonight, the day will be capped off with the iconic Eiffel Tower spectacularly lit up to display #olympicday and #journeeolympique messages.
Paris 2024 Co-Chairman, Tony Estanguet, said:
“The passion on display in celebration of Olympic Day 2016 highlights Paris’ commitment Olympic sport with the values of Olympism deeply embedded within French society. Our promise is to harness this enthusiasm for Olympic sport in Paris and France and help the Olympic Movement to create a new generation of fans globally – offering the best possible showcase for Olympic events and the perfect environment for the spirit of Olympism to grow and prosper.”
French NOC President, Denis Masseglia, said:
“The birthplace of modern Olympism, France has a rich Olympic heritage and it is fantastic to see so many young people celebrating our wonderful sporting history with such enthusiasm. Paris 2024 will be a spectacular centenary Games of style and substance that will celebrate Olympic values and echo Pierre de Coubertin’s vision of a better world through sport.”
Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said:
“The ambition and drive of Paris is encapsulated by our enthusiasm for sport and today’s Olympic Day celebrations underline the deep-rooted passion, particularly for Olympic sport, across the city. The Sorbonne is a symbol of youth and education and it’s great to celebrate Olympic history and values, while also looking to the future of the Movement. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a unique opportunity to place sport even more firmly at the heart of our city and to utilise the values of Olympism to contribute to the education of young people.”
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