French President Macron Confirms Paris 2024 Support On Call With IOC Chief

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron Thursday spoke with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and expressed “absolute support for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Bid,” officials with the campaign said.

Emmanuel Macron elected President of France on May 7, 2017

Emmanuel Macron elected President of France on May 7, 2017

Macron, who defeated controversial far-right candidate Marine Le Pen last week in a general election, had been the candidate considered most friendly to the Paris 2024 bid.  His policies around labour reform, however, are expected to trigger protests if they forward this summer – a potential liability for the bid’s image.

“Emmanuel Macron has been a supporter of the Paris 2024 bid since the very beginning,” Paris 2024 co-Chair Tony Estanguet said in a statement Friday.

“He has always shown a strong interest in our plans and the opportunities provided by a successful bid. We are delighted that even before his inauguration as new President of France he has already found time to speak to the IOC President to reaffirm his full and complete support for Paris 2024.”

IOC President Thomas Bach inspects venues in PyeongChang ahead of 2018 Olympic Winter Games (IOC Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach inspects venues in PyeongChang ahead of 2018 Olympic Winter Games (IOC Photo)

“Mr. Macron has also confirmed that he will be meeting with the IOC Evaluation Commission while they are in Paris and that he will be active in backing the bid all the way to Lima.”

Macron’s inauguration is planned for Sunday, the same day the IOC’s 13-member Commission is set to start closed-door meetings to review the bid’s plans and venues.  On Sunday evening the bid team will host the delegation at a welcome dinner, the most likely time the President will join and meet the group.

During Thursday’s phone call described as “warm” by Paris 2024, Mr. Macron “shared with President Bach his attachment to the Paris 2024 project and emphasized France’s longstanding commitment to the Olympic movement.”

The Evaluation Commission conclude three days of meetings in Los Angeles Friday where it has been inspecting Paris’ rival bid, and will fly to the French Capital to arrive on Saturday.

The IOC will choose a 2024 host city from Paris or Los Angeles during a meeting September 13 in Lima, Peru.

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