2024 Olympic Bids Send Influential Delegations To The Games in Rio

French President François Hollande and Paris 2024 Co-Chair Tony Estanguet at Onze Tricolour (Twitter Photo)

French President François Hollande and Paris 2024 Co-Chair Tony Estanguet (Twitter Photo)

Bids to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 are making the most of their opportunity to join the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) observers’ program in Rio de Janiero during the Olympic Games.  Each city vying to stage the Games in eight years can send official delegations to learn more about the organization of the Games and help improve their own plans moving forward.

More importantly, the trip to Brazil offers the chance for bid leadership to meet with influential stakeholders and market their offering to those who will ultimately decide which city will be elected in September 2017.

The Games begin Friday evening.

Cities may register up to eight “observers” and four executives to attend the Games to participate in up to 20 meetings that occur in the practical context.  They’ll have the opportunity to meet with organizing committees (from Rio, PyeongChang, Tokyo and Beijing) and other Olympic Stakeholders.

Though the official delegation is limited to 12, other supporters may attend under separate banners such as members of Sport Federations, National Olympic Committees,  IOC Members or those on official state visits such as French President François Hollande whose attendance has now been confirmed.

Along with Hollande, Paris’ delegation includes Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Bid Co-chairs Tony Estanguet and Bernard Lapasset.

Lapasset said “we are delighted to be heading to Rio to take part in the Observer Programme and to listen and learn from the Organising Committee and Olympic Family stakeholders in a live Games environment. We look forward to gaining valuable insights about the Games-time hosting experience and we are delighted to have President Hollande with us on this experience – underling the commitment, unity and top-down political support France has for this project.”

Estanguet added “we travel to Rio with great optimism as our bid continues to evolve and develop. We are looking forward to sharing our pioneering vision for Paris 2024 with colleagues in the Olympic Family and of course celebrating the sporting action and the achievements of the athletes.”

Other members in the French delegation include IOC Member and Olympic Gold Medallist Guy Drut, President of the French National Olympic Committee Denis Masseglia, President of the French Paralympic Committee and Paralympic Bronze Medallist Emmanuelle Assman, Bid Chief Executive and Badminton Olympian Etienne Thobois, President of the Île-de-France region Valérie Pécresse and Olympic Bronze Medallist and World Champion in Athletics Muriel Hurtis.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will lead a team of 25 representing the United States’ bid for the Games.  He will be joined in Rio by LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, CEO Gene Sykes and Vice Chair and Director of Athlete Relations Janet Evans, and the bid’s entire staff.

U.S. IOC members Larry Probst, Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero – who on Monday was elected Chair of the IOC Athletes Commission – and United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun will be in attendance to help underline support for the bid.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the delegation at the Opening Ceremony.

Sykes said “Rio 2016 is a fundamental part of our listening and learning phase and we would like to thank the IOC for this very special opportunity.”

“We are looking forward to meeting with key stakeholders from the Olympic Movement and are honored to be a part of the first Olympic Games to take place in South America.”

Mayor Garcetti added “I am looking forward to meeting members of the Olympic Family, athletes and as many ‘Cariocas’ as possible, and sharing in this wonderful Olympic atmosphere. I have no doubt the LA 2024 team will learn a great deal from our experiences here so that we leave better equipped than ever to stage an innovative, sustainable and low risk Games in a city with the Olympics in its DNA.”

Budapest 2024 Bid Chairman Balazs Furjes addresses Business Forum

Budapest 2024 Bid Chairman Balazs Furjes

Budapest’s delegation will be led by bid Chair Balázs Fürjes.  He said “this is a once-only opportunity and we intend to make the absolute most of it. We are here to live and breathe the Games, to experience first hand the gritty hard work, the mountainous challenges, and those small and large triumphs and achievements that sometimes never make it to the front page.”

“Every piece of information and word of advice we take away from Rio will be integrated into our plans.”

Hungary’s President János Áder and Prime Minister Mr. Viktor Orbán will also be on hand to support the bid and the national team.  They’ll open Hungary House – the first ever dedicated facility at an Olympic Games for the nation.

Rome’s bid delegation will be led by Committee President Luca di Montezemolo and he will be joined by General Coordinator Diana Bianchedi, International Relations and Planning Manager Simone Perillo, Head of Communication Department Fabio Guadagnini, Venue Planning Manager Francesco Romussi, Head of Finance and Control Claudia Cariati, Transport and Tourism Manager Laura Cavatorta, Athletes Relations Manager Fiona May, Lazio Region Representative Roberto Tavani, Bid Advisors Roberto Daneo, Cathy Livock and Stefano De Alessi.

Notably absent from the list is Rome’s newly elected Mayor Virginia Raggi who was opposed to the bid during her election campaign.  She has said that she will determine her level of support for the bid in October.

GamesBids.com will also be on the scene in Rio to bring you further insight into the bid teams activities at the the Games.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil