International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach began a two-day visit Saturday to Paris and met with Paris 2024 leaders and French athletes. Bach was greeted by 400 athletes at France’s National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP), the country’s flagship institution for elite sport.
Paris 2024 Co-Chairmen Tony Estanguet and Bernard Lapasset gave President Bach a tour of the state-of-the-art sports facilities prior to Bach delivering a speech to the athletes.
Bach was also shown around an athlete-led exhibition illustrating the INSEP program that educates young sports people around athlete development, the challenges that come with being an elite athlete, and preparation for transitioning into employment once they finish competing.
Olympic bronze medal winning fencers Frédéric Pietruszka and Bernard Talvard, who joined President Bach on the podium when he won Gold in Team Foil Fencing in Montreal in 1976, were also on hand for the tour.
Following the tour, Bach attended a private dinner hosted by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.
Paris 2024 Co-Chairman and Triple Olympic Gold Medalist Tony Estanguet said, “we are delighted to welcome President Bach to Paris to show him our wonderful city, our compact Games plan, the French people’s love and passion for all Olympic sports, and our vision for a thrilling celebration of sport and Olympism in Paris and across France in 2024. This is another important moment and great opportunity to learn more about how Paris 2024 can be a catalyst for the promotion and growth of the Olympic Movement.
“We are thrilled to be here at INSEP to showcase the fantastic facilities that illustrate France’s commitment to investing in sport. Sport is woven into the fabric of our community life throughout the nation with grassroots, amateur and elite sports people participating daily via the many hundreds of sports clubs in the city and across the country. Since 2000, France has also hosted more than 40 World or European Championships in summer Olympic sports. Sport, and especially Olympic sport, is in the DNA of Paris and France.”
Paris is competing against Budapest and Los Angeles, as well as Rome before the Italian city is expected to drop about. A host city will be elected by the IOC September 2017 in Lima, Peru.