Athletes gather for Paris 2024

By Amelia Fisher-Starzynski, Paris, Nov 8, 2017: A large delegation of athletes and representatives of the French sports movement gathered in Paris today to accelerate plans for athlete involvement in Paris 2024 and build on the momentum gained during the successful candidature phase (Athletes gather Paris 2024).

In the first of a series of consultations planned before the end of the year, 60 athletes joined the Paris 2024 Committee and the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) at the offices of the French elite sports academy, INSEP, to discuss the role of athletes in the future Organising Committee of the Olympic & Paralympic Games (OCOG), which will be formally established in January 2018.

A key pillar of Paris’ winning bid was a commitment to keep athletes and the sports movement at the heart of the project, from development to implementation and delivery. With seven years to go until the 2024 Games, today’s exercise was an important first step towards achieving that goal.

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet, Denis Masseglia, President of the CNOSF, and Jean-Philippe Gatien, Paris 2024 Sports Director and President of the Board of Directors of INSEP, led athletes from a wide range of sports and at various stages of their careers, from up-and-coming Generation 2024 athletes, to active champions, and athletes retired from competition.

Many of those present have been heavily involved in the project from the start, including triple Paralympic Champion and Co-Chair of the Paris 2024 bid’s Athletes’ Commission, Marie-Amélie Le Fur; Olympic champion and President of the CNOSF Athletes’ Commission, Fabien Gilot; Sarah Ourahmoune, Olympic silver medallist and Vice-President of the CNOSF; double Olympic fencing Champion Brice Guyart, Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie; and Olympic silver medallist and Paris 2024 Education Ambassador Emmeline Ndongue.

Among the topics discussed were the structure and mission of the future Athletes’ Commission within the Organising Committee and the format of the Paris 2024 Ambassadors’ Programme. During the meeting a framework for a ‘Paris 2024 Athletes’ Plan’ was also put in place that will form a core part of the strategy of the new OCOG once it is formally established early next year.

As part of the framework, Paris 2024 pledged to:

• Establish a highly-engaged community of Athlete Ambassadors to promote the project and drive engagement with the Olympic values in France and internationally
• Ensure the involvement of athletes in key positions within the OCOG (Olympic and Paralympic)
• Create an empowered Athletes’ Commission that offers athletes an additional voice within the decision-making structures of OCOG

Paris 2024 President, Tony Estanguet, said:

“The presence of athletes at the heart of the Paris 2024 project is essential. Their experience of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, their knowledge of their individual sports and their insight into the federations allowed us to propose a project that will meet the expectations of the Olympic family. With the strong support of the sports movement here in France we will address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead over the next seven years.”

CNOSF President, Denis Masseglia, added:

“The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic project was designed for athletes, by athletes. From the beginning, they have been at the heart of both its plans and its governance. The CNOSF high-level Athletes’ Commission, previously co-chaired by Tony Estanguet and Isabelle Severino, now co-chaired by Gwladys Epangue and Fabien Gilot, will reflect on the status and role of athletes in French society. It will also focus on the legacy of Paris 2024 for athletes and, more broadly, for top-level sport in France.”

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