Laurent Wauquiez, the president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in Lyon, October 19, 2023. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP
“It’s a wonderful challenge, a wonderful dream, it’s something that corresponds to the DNA of our region. » Without bothering with the steps planned by the Olympic authorities, Laurent Wauquiez wanted to personally announce, Thursday October 19, in Lyon, the candidacy of the French Alps for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games.
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“Our region is bathed in this heritage of Olympism. It’s Chamonix, it’s Grenoble, it’s Albertville, said the president (Les Républicains) of the second economic and demographic region of France. Albertville was already in 1992, and the danger is that if we do not take a position on these questions, over time, little by little, France will no longer be among the large countries, in the large sites capable to host the Winter Olympics. »
The former Minister of Higher Education and Research (2011-2012) assured that this candidacy was part of a sustainable vision of the Olympics, in the ecological sense of the term, by planning to use and rehabilitate existing infrastructures, notably those built for the Albertville Olympic Games.
“The first sustainable Olympic Games”
“I am convinced that we must bring another image of Olympism, continued Mr. Wauquiez, giving the impression of piloting the application file. It is necessary that after what happened in Sochi, in Beijing [Pékin], we bring the image of sober Olympic Games, respectful of the environment, which are part of a lasting heritage, not those where we build one day and then demolish them. This corresponds to the will of the IOC [Comité international olympique] to open this new page with the first sustainable Olympic Games, which is an ambition that we set. »
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The president of the AURA region took advantage of the traditional press conference which precedes the plenary assembly of the community to position himself as leader of the French candidacy. Friday October 20, the regional assembly must decide on a simple deliberation, which gives power to the permanent commission of the region to undertake the necessary steps to put together the file.
In fact, the management of the file falls to the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, chaired by David Lappartient, which must present the French candidacy to the commission of future IOC hosts on November 21. This body will then announce the choice of one or more candidates capable of entering into a phase of more in-depth exchanges, known as “targeted dialogue”, during the IOC Executive Board, scheduled to take place in Paris from November 28 to December 1.
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