Recent polls painted two different pictures of public approval for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
In a recap of Monday’s meeting between International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and French president Emmanuel Macron, the IOC referenced a recent report showing overwhelming support for the next Summer Games.
“A recent report found an approval rating of 80 per cent for the Games, rising to 90 per cent among young French people,” the article said.
But another survey published Tuesday in Le Parisien showed otherwise, with its headline translating to, “Paris 2024: the French are not against the Games, but we will have to convince them.” In that poll, 47% of respondents said they’re “indifferent” about the upcoming Olympics while 26% are “interested.” Other answers included 19% who are “worried,” 7% who are “impatient,” and 1% who didn’t respond.
The poll was administered across two days last week and interviewed 1,019 French adults. According to its findings, a majority (54%) plan to follow the Olympics in the media, 12% want to buy tickets, and 6% are looking to work or volunteer at the Games.
Given the past streak of Olympics exceeding their budgets, the French have valid concerns about anticipated costs. The poll also found that 75% of respondents believe the Games will go over budget. And they were right: After the poll was taken last week, the French government increased its budget to 8.3 billion euros ($8.5 billion) from its initial allotment announced back in 2018. Additionally, 65% support the idea of holding the opening ceremony on the River Seine.
The actual popularity of Paris 2024 among the French public should become clearer in December when ticket sales begin.
Mounting public opposition to the postponed Tokyo Olympics seemed to lose steam as the event approached. One survey by Fuji Television from last June showed 30.5% of respondents said the event should be canceled, down from 56.6% the month prior. There was similar discontent surrounding the Rio 2016 Olympics, with an estimated 50% of Brazilians against the Summer Games.