Paris 2024 Olympic bid forges ahead after attacks

Paris 2024
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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.

MORE PARIS 2024: Eiffel Tower area eyed as Olympic venue

Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

Boxing gloves
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The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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