France stresses values of Olympic movement

Opening of the 2016 Olympic Games – Paris 2024 – Statements by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, on his arrival at Rio de Janeiro airport (excerpts)

Rio de Janeiro, 4 August 2016

Q. – The “Paris 2024” logo can be seen on your plane. Is that the reason why you’ve come here – to persuade people Paris is the right choice?

THE PRESIDENT – Yes, I’m going to be here in Rio for two days, primarily with the aim of supporting Paris’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games. It’s a key objective for France, and all the political families are playing an active role, all the cities that may be involved: Paris, but I’m not forgetting Marseille too, and Ile-de-France. France is making a bid through Paris, and it was my duty to be here in Rio to meet as many representatives of the Olympic movement as possible and persuade them Paris is the best choice and France is also the best destination.

However, I have a second goal, namely to support French athletes. There are 350 of them, they’ll be wearing the colours of France, Teddy Riner will be carrying the flag, and we want them to fulfil the hopes placed in them, because in this period, which has been a testing time for France, we need moments of unity.

Lastly, the final and in my opinion the most essential reason for my being here is that the values of the Olympic movement – fraternity, sharing, freedom, tolerance and also effort, in what should be a spirit of world unity – are very important at a time when barbaric acts are taking place, not only in our countries but in a large number of the world’s regions./.

Opening of the 2016 Olympic Games – Presentation of the Paris 2024 bid/fight against terrorism/fight against doping – Press conference by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (excerpts)

Rio de Janeiro, 5 August 2016


THE PRESIDENT – France is capable of organizing major events: we’ve shown it in the recent – I could almost say the immediate – past with football’s Euro 2016, and I could also mention the Tour de France, the Paris Marathon, Roland-Garros and indeed major political events that will make a difference to the planet, like COP21. We’ve acquired expertise: expertise in hospitality – we’ve had it for a long time –, expertise in culture – we lay claim to that – and expertise in organizing very major events, and this expertise means the security of sports people and spectators is guaranteed inside and outside stadiums. (…)

We share values with the IOC: the Olympic movement’s values – excellence, effort, respect, particularly for diversity, and also peace and solidarity. Those values echo the values of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity. Fraternity is no doubt what unites us the most in preparing today’s Olympic Games here in Rio, next in Tokyo and, I hope, in Paris in 2024, because those are the values that provide the best answer to the challenges which the world faces today and will continue to face tomorrow. The answer, if I can put it that way, is Paris.

Q. – (Question in English from a journalist about security conditions in France)


THE PRESIDENT – The whole world is under threat from terrorism; no country, no region, no city can think it’s immune; we must combat terrorism, we’re doing so, and I hope with all my heart that by 2024 we’ll have won victories. But we’ve been tested – you’re right to say so – by attacks for several months; we’ve foiled others, but through these ordeals we’ve been able to protect ourselves even better and in particular to protect major events. That’s what we were capable of doing for Euro 2016, which involved several cities; the competition lasted more than a month and there were no incidents or accidents or attacks. (…)./.

Published on 19/09/2017

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