I am scribbling these words on the very same day when, in Lima, Peru, the 130th IOC Session will confirm the decision, taken last July, to award the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to the two remaining candidate cities who wished to organise the 2024 Olympic Games.
The Olympic movement will be finally back in Paris and, after the agreement with Los Angeles, it will take place exactly one century after the last visit of the Olympians to the city of light! Since then the French capital has tried to hold the Olympic Games without success.
Now there were no doubts. The ENGSO member the “Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français” (CNOSF) after an outstanding candidature will have the opportunity to organise the Olympic sports world to organise for the third time in Paris the Olympic Games.
I am sure that Pierre de Coubertin who managed to bring to his birth city the Olympic Games twice (in 1900 and in 1924) will be clapping his hands! In fact in 1900 when Greece after the rebirth of the Games in 1896 was trying to appropriate his genial idea, he against all the odds convinced the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition organisers to include the Games of the second Olympiad in their event. They were held outside the scope of the exhibition, and far from the heart of Paris at “Champ de Mars”, but they were inserted in a world event and gained the ´´finger print`` of being forever universal. The awarding of the 1924 Olympic Games was by far easier once the only challengers, the Netherlands, promptly withdrew their prospective candidature when understood that the Games of the 8th Olympiad were Coubertin’s farewell party!
All the elements of this history were in the air when ENGSO visited the CNOSF headquarters in June, where we met for the 2017 General Assembly. Among several subjects discussed during the Seminar was one on the issues that should be considered when countries were thinking of staging a great sports event. This included the LEGACY of the event to the community as they will be the ones that support the event with their taxes!
In the XXIth Century, when sport events proliferate, every community in a democratic country accepts that the organisational expenditure on any big event will contribute to the development of facilities that can later be used by the population, helping the promotion of grassroots sport and healthier life styles at all levels.
This must be THE priority!