Paris Olympics organiser says focused on Games, not politics

The chief organiser of Paris Olympics stressed that the aim of the July 26-August 11 games was to “bring people together”.

Published - July 02, 2024 03:41 pm IST - Paris

The Olympic rings are displayed on the Eiffel Tower with a general view of Champions Park at the Trocadero, under construction for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

The Olympic rings are displayed on the Eiffel Tower with a general view of Champions Park at the Trocadero, under construction for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The chief organiser of the Paris Olympics said on July 2 he was focused on preparations for the Games later this month rather than the political turmoil gripping France.

Tony Estanguet was asked whether the stated values of Paris 2024 and its motto — “Games Wide Open” — were consistent with the anti-immigration and nationalist agenda of the National Rally (RN) party, which topped parliamentary polls at the weekend.

“We are now in the final phase... I want us to respect this major democratic moment and we need to stay in our place so that French people can enjoy these Games which they can’t wait to see,” he told reporters during a visit to the Olympic village.

He stressed that the aim of the July 26-August 11 Olympics was to “bring people together”.

The Games were intended to “demonstrate the audacity and the best of what our country has to offer the world... (and) to make people proud of what the country is capable of organising. There’s also a desire to bring French people together,” he said.

“We are focused on that,” her added.

The far-right RN of Marine Le Pen came top in the first round of voting for a new parliament on Sunday, with a decisive second round set to take place next Sunday.

A new left-wing alliance finished second, with President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist allies trailing in third.

Macron’s unexpected decision to call early elections is widely seen as having backfired, with the political uncertainty risking overshadowing the Paris Games.

Analysts say the most likely outcome of the snap election is a hung parliament that could lead to months of political paralysis.

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