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Sports

Paris announces official bid for the 2024 Olympic Games

media French athletes and officials pose, including city mayor Anne Hidalgo (5thL), as they attend an event to launch the Paris bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, France, June 23, 2015. Reuters

Paris has officially announced its entrance to the race for the 2024 Olympic Games, joining Boston, Rome and Hamburg. France chose Tuesday to proclaim its bid as 23 June is the  annual Olympic Day.

Nothing is set in stone yet but it already looks as if Paris has joined Boston as one of the  frontrunners to host the 2024 Games.

The United States has not staged the summer Games since Atlanta hosted them in 1996. For Paris 2024 would be the centenary since the French capital hosted the Games.

Bernard Lapasset, current president of World Rugby and future head of the bidding committee, said how delighted he was on Tuesday.

"As we move forward with our bid, it is very pleasing to see today that we already have the full support of the city, regional and national governments as well as the CNOSF [French Olympic Committee] and the French sports movement," he said. "It is wonderful to also receive significant public support and real backing from our athletes."

Paris has decided to put the athletes forward this year and some of the most famous former Olympics champions were the ones who launched the Twitter hashtag #Paris2024.

Among them, Marie-José Pérec, Renaud Lavillenie, Teddy Riner, Laura Flessel, all of them saying how proud it would make them if France was the host country for the 2024 Games.

Paris is also hoping to surpass its 2008 and 2012 bids but not everyone thinks it would be that great to stage the Games here.

Jean Luc Mélenchon, leftist member of the European Parliament, said Tuesday that he was “of course” against it, because it would be a too enormous cost.

But François Fillon, former prime minister from the right-wing Républicains party said it would be a great if Paris were to host the 2024 Games, adding that, for once, its candidacy was being prepared in a serious and professional way.

The proposal includes holding one sport under the Eiffel Tower as well as at the Stade de France, which was used for the 1998 football World Cup final.

On the financial side, French organisers say the cost will be about six billion euros and they will get a big chunk of that from the International Olympic Committee.

France President François Hollande promised full state backing.

Other cities might still try and enter the race, like Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, which is currently hosting the European Games, Hungary's capital Budapest and Doha in Qatar.

All bids must be officially submitted by 15 September this year and the International Olympic Committee will only make a decision at a congress in Lima on 15 September 2017. 

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