Paris Starts Summer Olympics Bid Hoping for Third Time Lucky

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Paris Summer Olympics Bid Launch
Paris' mayor Anne Hildago at the offcial launch of the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics, in Paris, today. Photographer: Francois Guillot/AFP via Getty Images

Paris officially introduced its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics after failing twice in past decades to host the world’s biggest sporting event.

A successful bid would bring the summer games back to the French capital 100 years after it last hosted them.

“This bid will excite, unite and enthuse the people of Paris, our entire nation and lovers of Olympic and Paralympic sport all over the world,” Bernard Lapasset, chairman of the bid committee, said at a ceremony at the Paris headquarters of the French Olympic Federation. “We already have the full support of the city, regional and national governments.”

In a separate statement, President Francois Hollande said the government “will do everything to accompany the sporting world and support this bid which will be exemplary on environmental, economic and civic grounds.”

Among athletes attending today’s launch were 2013 Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli, judo gold medalist Teddy Riner and swimming gold medalist Laure Manaudou.

The Paris City Council approved a bid on April 13.

“Paris will be at the rendez-vous,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said today.

France last staged an Olympics in 1992, when the Winter Games were held in Albertville. Although Paris had been the favorite for the 2012 Summer Olympics, it lost to London in

2005. It also lost to Barcelona in 1992. South Korea’s Pyeongchang was chosen over Annecy for the 2018 winter games.

Formal bids must be entered in September, and the International Olympic Committee will select the host city in September 2017. Paris will be up against Hamburg, Rome and Boston.

Paris is home to the French Open, the only clay-court tennis major, and hosted the 2007 rugby World Cup and the 2003 athletics world championships. France also organized the 1998 soccer World Cup, and the Stade de France where the final was held was built with an Olympic bid in mind.

France is already set to host the 2016 European men’s soccer championship and the 2019 women’s world cup.

Paris officials have said most of the necessary sporting infrastructure is in place. The major facilities needing to be built are a swimming center and a field hockey stadium.

$7 Billion Budget

A preliminary report, released in February, called for a total budget of 6.2 billion euros ($7 billion), with 3 billion euros for infrastructure. Of that, at least 2 billion euros is for housing that would be built anyway, the city says. The 2012 London Olympics cost 9.3 billion pounds ($13.6 billion).

The report calls for using some of Paris’s best-known landmarks including the Grand Palais for fencing, the Champ de Mars park beneath the Eiffel Tower for beach volleyball, the Invalides for archery, and the Longchamp race track for equestrian events. Road cycling races would finish at Versailles Palace southwest of Paris.

A successful bid would mean Paris staging the summer games for a third time. The city also organized the Olympics in 1900 and 1924.

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