Coronavirus: Paris 2024 Summer Olympics to be postponed?

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 4 May 2020 at 18h57 · Updated on 7 May 2020 at 12h51
As the Covid-19 pandemic keeps on paralyzing the world’s economy and leading to the one-year adjournment of the Tokyo Olympics, Paris 2024 Summer Olympics organizers are worried about the consequences of the health crisis on the calendar of the future Olympic Games. Many questions remain without an answer, as voices are raising to maintain or anticipate a postponement to 2025.

Will we experience Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 or in 2025? Since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed to summer 2021 because of the coronavirus epidemic, nothing is going on well for Paris 2024. Today, a bit more than two months after confinement started, the international health crisis has consequences on the project’s gigantic work sites, on the economic forecasts regarding the organization of such an event.

So, the longer the confinement, the greater the doubts for the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee. With soaring construction costs, like the one allocated for the aquatic complex said to rise by 50%, and influent people who are more and more doubtful, like the former Minister of Sport, Guy Drut, who considers the Paris 2024 “software” became “obsolete”, the worst case scenarios are to be considered. At the head of the worst-case scenarios, after cancelling, too pessimistic, we have the change of calendar, this time, much more realistic. If the IOC has been able to postpone the edition 2020 to next year, the hypothesis doing it again for Paris 2024 seems believable.

Yet, according to Seine-Saint-Denis department Socialist Party President Stéphane Troussel, interviewed by Libération, there is “no reason to change” plans. According to him, postponing “would be a very bad sign”, a “proof the virus has not gone”, even though “this event is highly expected by the population and the country” and would be the symbol “of a new dynamic” needed in these doubtful times. Beside the simple calendar, the socialist elected official says the Games aims at “making the next thirty years a success” and hopes the State will stick to their commitments, such as the construction of municipal swimming pools, “in a department where 40% of the young cannot swim before sixth grade”.

On the other side, French Communist Party (PCF) elected at the Council of Paris Nicolas Bonnet-Oulaldj wishes to “organize these games when we are ready” first and foremost. And according to him, the only solution in order to be “respectful of the social and environmental standards” without rush would be “to postpone them for a year”. He thinks cancelling would be “a political defeat over these challenges we are facing”. After a deadly pandemic, he thinks “Games could helpParis and Seine-Saint-Denisto start over again”. Unless the Olympic calendar is once again shaken up or the economic factor changes.

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