As expected, the City Council of Paris voted with an overwhelming majority to support the capital city’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games during its session on Monday, April 13, 2015. It was a victory for the Paris 2024 organizers and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who since changing her mind about the financial feasibility of the project in February, has been leading the charge to move forward ever since.
Various political parties weighed in during a discussion leading up to the vote. Mayor Hidalgo was the last to address the City Council, asking them, “to proceed to an historic vote that will mark an important moment in (their) collective life.” From there, according to the newspaper Le Monde, nearly all the hands in the room went up and people broke into applause. At 10:39, Mayor Hidalgo announced, “My dear colleagues, we have committed ourselves to the Olympic adventure.”
The council’s vote means that the City can move forward, working with the association “Olympic and Paralympic Ambition” whose first meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 15. Jean-François Martins, deputy mayor in charge of sports, indicated that the first order of business will be to come up with a “roadmap.” Also working in conjunction with this new association is the group headed by Bernard Lapasset, who is also president of World Rugby, that worked on the feasibility study for Paris 2024.
Hidalgo and Lapasset will co-author the eventual bid submitted by France’s National Olympic Committee, “sometime between June and September,” according to the mayor. Hidalgo has said publicly that Parisian citizens need to weigh in on the matter and there has been talk about a possible referendum, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to put it up to a formal vote in time.
Meanwhile, Eurosport France conducted a quick Twitter poll this morning, asking followers “Are you in favor of Paris’ candidature for the 2024 Olympic Games?” Here are the results:
French president François Hollande will stop in on the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday afternoon, as part of an official state visit to Switzerland on April 15 and 16. He will meet with IOC president Thomas Bach, and will be accompanied by French Olympian Tony Estanguet (3 gold medals in canoeing) and Denis Masseglia, president of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF).
Paris will join Rome, Hamburg and Boston as candidates for the 2024 Summer Games. Bids are due to the International Olympic Committee by September 15, 2015; the IOC will vote on the host city during the 130th International Olympic Committee session in Lima, Peru in the summer of 2017.