The Paris 2024 Olympic organizing committee has reduced the number of beds required for the Olympic Village from 17,000 to 14,000, the IOC announced today.
That was one of a few pieces of news coming out of a June 3 video conference between the IOC Coordination Commission, the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee and the City of Paris, among other stakeholders. The meeting was conducted virtually due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The IOC’s press release says the various governing bodies have had to shift the approach of the Olympics due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
The release says the Olympic and Paralympic Village will now require only 14,000 beds, compared to the original need of 17,000. That should lower the cost of the village, and the IOC says it will help the village be “fitted to the needs of the athletes and the National Olympic Committees.”
Paris 2024 Organizing Committee President Tony Estanguet says the organizing committee’s goal is to “create the Games of a new era,” focusing on responsibility, sustainability and social consciousness.
The organizing committee reaffirmed its focus on keeping the 2024 Olympics on their original timeline: July 26 through August 11 of 2024. That’s despite the 2020 Olympics being pushed back one calendar year to the summer of 2021. The Paris Paralympics will remain from August 28 through September 8, 2024.
The release also notes two major construction projects that have moved forward – one of which is the new Olympic Aquatics Center. We reported last month that the construction bid for the facility had been awarded to industrial group Bouygues. The permanent facility will feature a 70-meter pool with a movable bulkhead and should have a capacity of 2,500 even after the Olympics. The actual Olympic swimming competitions will take place in a temporary 50-meter pool with a 15,000 spectator capacity.
The IOC release mentions the importance of the permanent facility for Paris, where it says “only half of local children know how to swim.”
The full IOC release is below:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 met today (3 June 2020) by video-conference with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee and its partners, including representatives from the City of Paris, the Métropole du Grand Paris, Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis, Région Ile de France and the French Olympic and Paralympic Committees.
The meeting was held virtually due to the current COVID-19 situation, with members of the Commission expressing their sympathies for the considerable challenges faced by the French population over the past few months.
Since the candidature, the Paris 2024 Games preparations have been innovative and responsible. The presentations made by the Paris team to the Commission reaffirmed their commitment to this strategy as the first Organising Committee to fully implement the measures outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020 and its New Norm. They also acknowledged a shift in approach in recent months, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new approach is inspired by the recent letter from the IOC President, which was then echoed in the message from Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet to all Paris 2024 stakeholders, that called for creative and sustainable optimisations in the context of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Coordination Commission fully supported this vision and committed to working closely with the organisers to achieve this ambition.
An example of the positive outcome that has already been delivered through close collaboration amongst delivery partners was the reduction in the number of beds required in the Olympic and Paralympic Village from just over 17,000 to approximately 14,000. This ensures that the Village is fitted to the needs of the athletes and National Olympic Committees, while controlling the amount of investment required and still leaving an important housing legacy for the Seine-Saint-Denis area of Paris. It has also been visible in the optimisation of the Aquatic Centre concept.
The enhanced Games delivery strategy will involve building on the work already completed, adapting plans and considering many of the developments being used to optimise the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Speaking after the update, IOC Coordination Commission Chair Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant said: “The COVID-19 situation has impacted everyone around the world, and our sincere thoughts are with all those affected, particularly in France, which has been hit hard. This makes Paris 2024’s continued progress over the past few months incredibly inspiring.
“Paris continues to illustrate its determination to deliver an innovative and responsible new model for the organisation of the Games. The postponement of Tokyo 2020 to 2021 and the call from our President to look to ‘further strengthen the sustainability and feasibility reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 with a new phase of the New Norm’ provide the impetus for all stakeholders to take that ambition even further. We look forward to exploring more opportunities and breaking new ground in preparing Games for the future.”
Paris 2024 President Estanguet said: “The Coordination Commission meeting is always a privileged time with Commission members. This moment of exchange allows us to present our latest advances, to challenge and enrich our project in contact with experienced Commission members. Despite the current context, it was important for us to maintain this time of exchange in order to present the latest advances in our project.
“From the start, our common purpose has been to create the Games of a new era: Games that are responsible, sustainable, socially conscious, and open for everyone to take part. The current context and the unprecedented crisis we are experiencing means we need to go even further in the directions we chose together. We are pleased to know that we can once again count on the support of the IOC and IPC and the members of the Coordination Commission in the construction of a new model of Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
During the meetings, Paris 2024 reiterated its focus on delivering its Olympic and Paralympic Games according to the agreed schedule of 26 July to 11 August 2024 and 28 August to 8 September 2024 respectively. It also outlined the progress made since the last Coordination Commission meeting in June 2019 and provided an insight into its plans for the upcoming months.
In addition, the Commission was updated on the status of Games-related construction projects. The Commission congratulated Paris and its partners on the recent awarding of contracts for two Olympic venues in recent weeks, and the start of demolition works on the site of the Olympic and Paralympic Village.
The Olympic Aquatics Centre will leave a long-lasting impact on the Seine-Saint-Denis community. The state-of-the-art sustainable building will provide increased swimming and leisure opportunities for the local community, helping to deliver on Paris’ commitment to leave infrastructure that will help to improve swimming proficiency in an area where only half of local children know how to swim.
The construction of the Arena La Chapelle building, which was also recently announced by the City of Paris, will also help rejuvenate part of the city, providing the Porte de la Chapelle neighbourhood with a multi-use sports facility for the community to use for many years to come.
Paris 2024 also covered the status of the Paralympic Games, the progress of a number of other venues, the unveiling of Paris’ new emblem, the launch of the Terre de Jeux 2024 initiative and the Club 2024 project, as well as giving updates on its legacy and sustainability plans.