News ID: 269174
Published: 1236 GMT May 17, 2020

Paris 2024 president defends Games’ ‘DNA’, plans to make savings

Paris 2024 president defends Games’ ‘DNA’, plans to make savings

Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet outlined key areas where savings can be made in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while defending the core “DNA” of a project labeled "obsolete" last month by former French sports minister Guy Drut.

Estanguet’s fellow International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Drut, the 110m hurdles champion at Montreal 1976, claimed that the Paris 2024 plan was "obsolete, outdated, out of touch with reality" amidst the current crisis, reported.

But Estanguet, who wrote earlier this month to all stakeholders highlighting the ongoing efforts to review and reinvent the project, insisted that the overall direction of travel would remain the same.

He told Insidethegames that the feedback he has received to his letter had been “very positive” and added, "They all want this project to be a success, they all believe that it is really needed in this country – a positive project that will bring people together and will highlight the power of sport.

"For me it was quite a misunderstanding about the reaction of Guy.

"We need a project in this country that will contribute to the economy, to the social aspect, that will bring people together.

"More than ever we need this project and we need to keep the best of this project, and the DNA of this project won’t change.”

Drut's comments came as the global economy looks set to enter a deep recession and the French economy has already entered one, with France's gross domestic product shrinking by 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

"I didn’t really understand why Guy did this comment," Estanguet said.

"Of course, we know we have to change, we have to adapt in the way we will deliver the Games.

"Because that is the principle of an organizing committee – to remain connected to the reality, and to remain united.

"Because we are linked with many stakeholders, and in this situation all the stakeholders are suffering.

"Our role is also to see how we can help the sport movement to rebuild after the crisis.”

When pressed on how the Paris 2024 model will change in light of the new realities, Estanguet highlighted his desire for the "DNA" of the project to remain intact.

"At the moment the strategy is more how, without moving the DNA of the project, how we will adapt the back-of-house of the Games,” he said.

Estanguet cited changes in arrangements for transport, accommodation and human resources that he believes will save "millions of euros."

On transport, there is likely to be increased reliance on metro and rail systems already in place.

"We have a metro station every 400 meters in the city," he said.

"So it is hard to say that we need to put in place a parallel transport system with shuttle buses for different public centers for media, national federations."

Estanguet also revealed plans to reduce to capacity of the Olympic Village from 17,000 to 15,000 beds.





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