French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to miss the election of Paris as host city of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games next month set to take place September 13 in Lima, Peru.
Shortly after his inauguration in May, Macron met with the visiting International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission members in Paris when he vowed solid support for the bid and committed to take part in the remaining two scheduled presentations. Macron’s presence was considered integral to Paris’ pitch at a bid city technical briefing and presentation held in Lausanne, Switzerland in July.
But it was at the same meeting the following day that the IOC voted to award both Paris, and rival bidder Los Angeles with the Games next decade – in 2024 and 2028 – putting the gears in motion that now virtually assure that Paris will be the site of the Games in 2024. Last week LA officials announced that they were willing to concede the 2024 Games to the French capital in exchange for the 2028 edition, and certain financial benefits.
If Los Angeles gets the local approvals necessary, as expected, the final presentation and vote in Lima will be a mere ceremonial rubber-stamping and not the high-intensity lobbying and politicking effort that is typical with bid city elections.
Instead, Le Parisien reported, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo along with Sports Minister Laura Flessel and bid Co-Chairs Tony Estanguet and Bernard Lapasset will represent the French Capital in Peru when the Games are awarded in a toned-down ceremony.
The presence of high-profile heads-of-state have become commonplace at key final presentations in order to solidify crucial votes to bring the Games home. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been credited with London’s victory over Paris to host the 2012 Games after last-minute lobbying ahead of the vote in Singapore. Russian President Vladimir Putin famously spoke in English at a presentation in Guatemala City to help win the Games for Sochi in 2014.
Other notable attendees have included U.S. President Barack Obama who supported the losing effort for Chicago 2016, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who helped Tokyo win the 2020 Summer Games.
Both Paris and LA are expected to be awarded with their third Olympic Games at the September meeting, equaling only London.