Emmanuel Macron’s resounding victory in the French Presidential election has caught the attention of Paris’ 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid that Sunday sent congratulations and welcomed the support of France’s new leader.
“On behalf of the entire Paris 2024 Bid Committee we would like to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on becoming the newly elected President of France,” bid committee co-Chairs Tony Estanguet and Bernard Lapasset said in a statement.
“We know that our new President will be a great supporter of the Paris 2024 bid and play a key role in helping us secure the nation’s ambition to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Thirty-nine year old Macron defeated Marine Le Pen, the extreme-right populist candidate who had been considered potentially toxic to Paris’ bid had she won the Presidency. In February La Pen criticized the Paris 2024 campaign when it unveiled the #MadeForSharing slogan in English, projected on the Eiffel Tower. Though bid officials urged that the English was necessary for the international media campaign, Le Pen and her supporters insisted it be communicated only in French.
There was also concern that her isolationist policies could deter International Olympic Committee (IOC) voters from backing the French bid.
With 85 per cent of the polls reporting late Sunday, Macron was leading with 64.3 per cent of the votes against 35.7 per cent for Le Pen.
“[Macron] understands the power of sport and how the Games can be a force for real change and help build inspiration and inclusion,” the statement said.
“The Paris 2024 team are looking forward to working with President Macron all the way to the IOC session in Lima, and beyond, to show the Olympic Family and the world why Paris would deliver the most incredible Games in 2024 full of passion and purpose.”
Macron’s victory ceremony was held at the Esplanade du Louvre in Paris Sunday night after the City of Paris told the candidate last week that he could hold the celebration at his first choice of venue, the Champ-de-Mars adjacent to the Eiffel Tower.
With the IOC Evaluation Commission scheduled to start a three-day inspection of the French Capital next Sunday, officials feared that crowds at the Eiffel Tower location may damage the grass, causing an eyesore for the 14-member team led by Commission chair Patrick Baumann.
Je serai fidèle à cet engagement pris : je protégerai la République. pic.twitter.com/gYIJRJxmEm
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 7, 2017
The IOC Evaluation Commission permits a state dinner to be held during the visit but there is no confirmation that Macron will be scheduled to meet Baumann’s team next week.
The same team is set to visit Paris’ bid rival Los Angeles starting Wednesday.
The IOC will elect the winner at an all-members session in Lima, Peru on September 13 and its possible that Macron will attend the meeting to support Paris’ bid. In 2005, then French President Jacques Chirac attended the election of the 2012 Olympic host city in Singapore when Paris fell to London on the final ballot.