International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach continued his tour of newly awarded Olympic host cities Thursday with a visit to Marseille in France, site of sailing competitions at the 2024 Olympic Games, where he met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other bid officials.
Paris was awarded the 2024 Games unopposed during an IOC Session in Lima, Peru last week where former rival Los Angeles was given the 2028 Games as part of a specially negotiated double-allocation designed to ensure there were “no losers” in the bid process.
Along with Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet, French sports minster Laura Flessel and the rest of the delegation, Bach was welcomed by Marseille Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin to the Marseille City Hall for an official reception.
President Macron, who was not in Lima for the historic announcement that sited Paris as host city on the 100th anniversary of the last time the French Capital hosted the Games said “I was delighted to welcome IOC President Thomas Bach to Marseille today, and to share our vision as to how Paris 2024 will benefit the whole of our nation.”
“France is so excited to receive the Games and we are looking forward to the journey ahead.”
Macron had originally vowed to travel to Lima to see the bid through to the end but later changed his mind when his presence in Lausanne in July at an IOC Member technical briefing ended with a plan for a tripartite agreement among Paris, Los Angeles and the IOC – relegating the Lima Session to a mere formality.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who was an active player in the bid committe, said “sfter the vote in Lima we felt the need to welcome the IOC president in Marseille.”
“Firstly to thank Jean-Claude Gaudin for his support during the campaign. Secondly to underline the fact that when Paris 2024 wins the victory is shared with the entire country.”
Bach visited Southern California last weekend.
On Sunday, along with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bach attended the NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where they joined Olympic Champion Rafer Johnson as he lit the cauldron, as he did at the 1984 Games Opening Ceremony.
Bach was also invited to walk the red carpet at the Prime Time Television Emmy Awards Ceremony in Hollywood.
The double-allocation marked the first time a city has been awarded the Olympic games unopposed since Los Angeles was awarded the 1984 Games in 1978.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.