Tony Estanguet

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Paris 2024

Paris Olympic bid chief repeats: 2024 or nothing

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Paris 2024 Olympic bid officials can’t accept the 2028 Olympics if offered, co-bid chief Tony Estanguet reportedly said Tuesday, echoing his comments from February.

“It is now or never. We will not come back for 2028,” the three-time French Olympic canoe champion said, according to Reuters. “Our project is only possible for 2024. We can’t accept 2028. It is not possible.”

The International Olympic Committee has moved in recent months to open the option of awarding both the 2024 and 2028 Olympics in an unprecedented double vote in September. But neither Los Angeles nor Paris bid officials have expressed interest in ceding 2024 to their opposition and taking 2028.

IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly hinted at awarding the hosting rights for both the 2024 and 2028 Games at the IOC Session on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru. Only the 2024 Games is currently scheduled to be voted on in Lima.

“All the options are on the table, and this includes also the ’24-’28 procedure and vote,” Bach said Friday when announcing a working group to study changing the candidate process.

Los Angeles and Paris are in a two-candidate race after several rivals dropped out facing public opposition to expected spiraling costs and doubts about the long-term value of being an Olympic host.

Since December, Bach has repeated warnings about a bid process that produces “too many losers,” suggesting concerns that the city which lost a 2024 vote would not return with a candidacy for the 2028 Olympics.

In February, Estanguet also reportedly said “now or never” in regard to 2024.

“I will be absolutely frank and direct here,” Estanguet said, according to Inside The Games“We are working exclusively to win in 2024. We are strong today with our vision. We believe it is the right moment for our city to be chosen. It is now or never.”

LA and U.S. Olympic officials have said they are focused on the 2024 Olympics. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has gone so far as to say, “We are not going for 2028,” according to Inside the Games.

Still, it’s not clear what LA 2024’s response would be if offered the 2028 Olympics.

“We’re bidding for ’24,” LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said last week when asked, “What if Paris gets it [the Olympics] first?”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paris 2024 Olympic bid forges ahead after attacks

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PRAGUE (AP) — The deadly attacks in Paris won’t deter the French capital’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris bid, said Friday the group is determined “more than ever” to bring the games to the city in the wake of the coordinated attacks that killed 130 people.

“At the beginning we were really shocked, in mourning like any other citizen,” Estanguet told The Associated Press. “To be honest, at the time you forget about your business and your work and for some days we were not concerned about the bid. We were focusing on the situation in the country.”

But Estanguet said the bid team is now pushing forward with renewed determination to bring the games to Paris for the first time since 1924.

“All the team members had the same feeling … that we have to continue and to work maybe harder than we did in the past,” he said. “We believe in France and internationally we need the projects where people will share good moments, positive moments, and sport is a great vehicle for this kind of emotions.”

Exactly a week after the attacks across Paris, Estanguet was in Prague to attend the general assembly of European Olympic Committees.

A three-time Olympic gold medalist in canoeing, Estanguet said the security issue should not hamper the Paris bid.

“We’re leaving this topic to the authorities,” he said. “And it’s good to see that internationally that there’s a common energy to share a good expertise and make sure that they will resolve this problem.”

Estanguet came to Prague from Lausanne, Switzerland, where he and other Paris officials attended a workshop on the bidding process at International Olympic Committee headquarters.

Bid officials from the four other candidate cities — Los Angeles; Rome; Budapest, Hungary; and Hamburg, Germany — also came to Prague after meetings in Lausanne.

“We realize that so far our project was in a good line,” Estanguet said. “We will continue with the same team spirit and atmosphere. We’re working well for the moment. We don’t have to change anything.”

The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.

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