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SBD Global/January 16, 2014/Olympics

France Considering Launching Bid To Host 2024 Olympics If It Meets Required Conditions

The "bitter taste of their failure to win the vote to host the 2012 Olympics still lingering," France is "considering bidding for the 2024 Games," according to Julien Pretot of REUTERS. However, France Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron said that a French bid would "only be put forward if they 'meet the conditions for a candidacy.'" Last April, France's Sports Ministry and the National Olympic Committee created the "French Committee for International Sports (CFSI) to shape the country's international sports policy." CFSI President Bernard Lapasset, who is also president of the Int'l Rugby Board, said, "There is no point in going (for an Olympic bid) just because we're taken by it, we also need a strategy." While the 2012 London bid was led by "double Olympic champion Sebastian Coe, the Paris bid was spearheaded by entrepreneur Philippe Baudillon, not exactly a recognizable face." Now it "seems France has learnt the lesson." French Olympic fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic said to the briefing, which was chaired by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, "We need the implication of the athletes from the beginning. Let's face it, we are potential consultants. We have a lot of power and it's not used enough" (REUTERS, 1/15).

PRICE OF TORONTO BID STEEP: If the city of Toronto is "serious about making a bid" for the '24 Olympics, it needs to invest $912,000 "to do the necessary groundwork this year and should assume that none of the facilities under construction for the Pan Am Games are suitable for reuse," an Ernst & Young reported indicated, according to Elizabeth Church of the GLOBE & MAIL. The report stated that "'an immediate mobilization of resources' is needed if Toronto wants to bid" on the '24 Games. A formal bid would cost $45.6M-$54.7M, with the cost of of hosting at $3B-$6.3B (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/15). In Toronto, Betsy Powell wrote Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in '11 "rejected an overture for Toronto to participate in a bid" for the 2020 Games. Meanwhile, the report stated "time is of the essence" for Toronto in preparing a bid (TORONTO STAR, 1/15). Also in Toronto, Don Peat wrote Toronto's bid "might be a long shot with some councillors balking at the idea" of spending $1M to "keep studying the idea" and at least $50M to mount a bid. Ford said of launching a bid, "If you were to ask me right now, today, I'd say no." Toronto Economic Development Committee Chair Michael Thompson said that the city would be "hard-pressed to come up with the millions needed for further study and to mount a bid." Thompson: "There are a variety of other substantive things that are more impactful on people's everyday, day to day living" (TORONTO SUN, 1/14).
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