Despite French Open Rain Out, Roof Not Essential Says Paris 2024 Olympic Bid Chief

As heavy rain washed out play at the French Open for the first time in 16 years, Paris 2024 bid leader Bernard Lapasset told reporters Monday that the installation of a roof over the tennis venue’s centre court is “not essential” for Paris`s bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Roland Garros Stadium, Proposed Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Venue (Wikipedia Photo)

Roland Garros Stadium, Proposed Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Venue (Wikipedia Photo)

The Roland Garros venue is one of the proposed venues in Paris’ bid plans.

Reuters reported that Lapasset said  “Roland Garros is already a fantastic venue for the Olympics.  We could do more, but it is not crucial”, he said, referring to the roof and extension projects.

He added, “it might be easier to do the roof.  It’s more complicated for the new court, which (as part of an extension project would not) be inside (the existing facilities)”.

He added, “it’s important to us that we can propose to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) members a bid faithful to our environmental values.  The zone is protected and it`s complicated to do something without the agreement of the people around”.

Meanwhile, the Paris Triathlon and L’Equipe 10K run took place in Paris Sunday.  Paris 2024 says the celebration of sport highlights Paris’ capability to host large scale mass participation events and boosts Paris’ bid for the Games.

A record-breaking 23,000 runners took part in the L’Equipe 10K, the third largest mass participation run in Paris after the Paris Marathon and Paris Half Marathon.  A Paris 2024 team also took part in the race.

More than 2,000 athletes took part in the Paris Triathlon which involved a 1500m swim, a 40K bike ride and a 10k run.  The triathlon took place in the heart of Paris with the route travelling along the banks of the River Seine, which could be used for the Olympic Triathlon in 2024, and the Esplanade des Invalides, the proposed Archery venue for Paris 2024.  It finished at the Eiffel Tower, which would overlook the Olympic Beach Volleyball venue if the city hosts the 2024 Games.

Paris 2024 Logo unveiled on Arc de Triomphe (Paris 2024 Photo)

Paris 2024 Logo unveiled on Arc de Triomphe (Paris 2024 Photo)

Paris 2024 Co-Chairman Tony Estanguet said, “today has been a fantastic celebration of mass participation in Paris and I’d like to congratulate all of the participants, spectators, volunteers and organizers who contributed to such a wonderful day.  The enthusiasm and engagement on display demonstrates that Paris will put on a fantastic spectacle if the city wins the right to host the Games in 2024.

“Paris is an iconic and cosmopolitan city with a unique blend of tradition and innovation, our historic landmarks and breath-taking venues provide the perfect platform to showcase Olympic sport. Sport is an integral part of everyday life in Paris and the passion and desire to watch and participate in the Paris Triathlon and the L’Equipe 10K give us huge encouragement as we continue our campaign to deliver an amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games for Paris in 2024”.

Paris is competing for the 2024 Games with Los Angeles, Rome and Budapest.  The IOC will select the host city in Lima in September 2017.