The Paris 2024 Olympics promised “limited travel times” and “maximized recovery times”. In short, “Compact Games”, easier to access for athletes and spectators. But the Covid-19 crisis and the specter of inflation decided otherwise. While the President of the Republic summoned the Olympic Committee on Monday July 25 for “a site meeting”, franceinfo reviews three major changes which have already shaken up the organization of these Games… less and less ” compact”.
Lille will host part of basketball
After several months of arm wrestling with the International Basketball Federation (Fiba), the Olympic Committee decided, Wednesday July 13, in the board of directors, that the preliminary phase of the basketball tournament would take place at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille. The basketball players, and in particular the NBA stars of “Team USA”, will then play the matches from the quarter-finals at the AccorHotels Arena, in the 12th arrondissement of the capital.
The group matches of the tournament were initially scheduled at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center in Paris. But the hall had concentrated criticism from several French basketball players, in particular because of the height of the ceiling. Frenchman Evan Fournier, rear of the New York Knicks in the NBA and Olympic vice-champion in Tokyo, had sharply criticized this option. Other players of the France team had also expressed their dissatisfaction after the choice of Lille in plan B.
To allow the organization of the group stages of basketball in Lille, the organizing committee had to “switch”in the words of Tony Estanguet on franceinfo, with handball, all matches of which were to be played at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium. The handball players, who wanted “also play in Paris”will therefore be welcomed at the Parc des expos at the Porte de Versailles in exchange.
Châteauroux inherits the shooting events
Basketball players are not the only ones to see the Olympic events moved outside the Paris region. The shooting, which was initially to be held in La Courneuve, in Seine-Saint-Denis, will finally take place in Châteauroux, in Indre. The Essences field in La Courneuve, on which the shooting events were planned, was no longer suitable and the organizers were looking for a new base. The national center of Châteauroux was finally chosen.
The communist mayor of La Courneuve, Gilles Poux, angry at losing an Olympic event, estimated in June that his city and the department of Seine-Saint-Denis should “get out of this role of permanent adjustment variable”. In return, the land of Essences will now serve as the starting point for the paramarathon and the cycling event open to the public, said the president of the department Stéphane Troussel.
Villepinte gets boxing
In a clever game of musical chairs, Seine-Saint-Denis thus obtained compensation for the loss of the shot. The department will therefore host boxing in Villepinte, to the delight of socialist Stéphane Troussel, who believes that this discipline “sticks perfectly to the DNA of Seine-Saint-Denis” and demonstrates“attractiveness for a young public, with a strong practice in the territory and important athletes”.
The arrival of boxing in Seine-Saint-Denis is the result of intense negotiations carried out over several weeks between the organizing committee and the department, which formalized the decision in June. In 2020, Seine-Saint-Denis had already lost swimming, one of the flagship disciplines of the Olympic Games, which will not take place in Saint-Denis but in Nanterre, in the Hauts-de-Seine. In question, a revision of the budget in order to save money after the Covid-19 crisis.