International

Paris 2024?

Jacques Rogge, IOC chairman, announcing the 2020 Olympic Games host city in Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Jacques Rogge, IOC chairman, announcing the 2020 Olympic Games host city in Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Tokyo was chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games at the great displeasure of Madrid, out after the first round and Istanbul defeated after the run-off by 36 votes vs. 60 for the Japanese city.

This is an half-surprise insofar as if Tokyo made up for its lost time, it was not considered as the favourite contrary to Istanbul, often regarded as the next 2020 Olympics organizing city by some analysts. The first historic and economic Turkey’s capital city probably pays for the consequences of Teskim square popular troubles in the last spring and the repression led by Recep Erdogan’s conservative government. This is a new failure for Istanbul which wished to make these Olympics, a new showcase of modern Turkey, link between Europe and Asia.

Choosing Tokyo is all the more surprising due to the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident which troubled on the Japanese bid credibility. At this point, some people express their concerns regarding the probability to organize the Olympics at two hundred kilometres of a radioactive area. Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime minister, wished to ensure IOC members stating the situation was under control, a statement which will be checked in the coming years due to the economic, environmental and political considerations, especially in the perspective of the Olympics. In spite of this, the 2020 Olympics gives is a big opportunity to Japan to be focused on the future and close the Fukushima episode, as the 1964 Olympics were the occasion the turn back the World War II and Hiroshima nuclear bombing.

Tokyo inhabitants just after the IOC announcement

Tokyo inhabitants just after the IOC announcement

The overwhelming Tokyo victory gives new possibility for a new France’s bid for the next 2024 Olympics. Indeed, the French government was quite discreet and waited for the IOC decision for 2020. It is needed to remind due to a non-official rule regarding continents rotation, France would have hardly any chance to organize the Olympics if Madrid or even Istanbul (considered as a European city by the IOC) were selected. The choice of Tokyo is a good news the French national sportive and Olympic committee (CNOSF, Comité national olympique et sportif français) and the French government who will take their time to think about the opportunity or not to apply.

But before any new candidacy, France should wonder about the reasons of its previous failures and if it really wishes to run for this new challenge, some people still having in mind the moment where London was finally designated as the 2012 Olympic Games host-city. On the previous year, Valerie Fourneyron, French minister of Sports, ordered an audit to understand why France always failed to get the Olympics and this audit put forward some important incoherencies regarding the strategy to led, the promotion of the French candidacies and the exact role of national and local authorities to determine.

Indeed, a new French candidacy will have to rethink the strategy and not to put the sportive community aside as Valerie Fourneyron noticed during the 2012 French presidential campaign, all the more so as getting the 2024 Summer Olympics will be much more difficult due to some potentially dangerous applicants for France as Washington, due to the US’ will to organize the Games since Atlanta in 1996 and the New York (for 2012) and Chicago (2016) consecutive failures. In parallel, France, with the support of the national government and local powers, has to put forward a new ambition for sport with a new policy, which still is in default in spite of the political executives’ good intentions.

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