La Rochelle, July 16, 2004 – Paris 2012 unveiled today the infrastructure existing in the Atlantic coast
city of La Rochelle.
The historic city is the location chosen for the Olympic and Paralympic sailing
competitions, if Paris were selected as the host of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
Making this announcement as part of its road show across France, Paris 2012 also
inaugurated the “Paris 2012 House” in the state-of the-art Port des Minimes, host
to several international sailing and regatta competitions, which welcomes thousands
of aquatic enthusiasts every year.
In presence of the following dignitaries: Maxime Bono, Deputy-Mayor of La Rochelle;
Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council; Jean-Paul
Denanot, President of the Limousin Regional Council; Jean-Pierre Champion, President
of the French Sailing Federation; Luc Gellusseau, French World Sailing Champion,
Jean-Paul Huchon, President of the Ile-de-France Region and Vice-President of
Paris 2012; and Essar Gabriel, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating
Officer of Paris 2012, were on hand to inaugurate the “Paris 2012 House”.
The “Paris 2012 House” will serve as an exhibition centre showcasing the Paris
2012 concept and will provide visitors with information on the Olympic proposal
of La Rochelle. La Rochelle represents an ideal example of the French approach
to sustainable development, ecology and green transportation services. As a part
of this project, the La Rochelle Olympic Village will be High Environment Quality
compliant, including an Olympic aquatic park with a vegetal garden that will remain
as a legacy to the City.
Maxime Bono, Deputy Mayor of La Rochelle, said, “La Rochelle and its Bay has
served as an important coastal location for centuries and enjoys an excellent
track-record for staging major international sea competitions. We would be proud
and honoured to mobilise our knowledge and expertise to serve our nation’s Olympic
dreams. We believe the impact of such an event on the whole Atlantic region will
be tremendously positive.”
As part of its road show, the Paris 2012 delegation welcomed the arrival of the
boat Ile-de-France in La Rochelle, which is also one of the stops of the “Tour
de France à la Voile” sailing competition. Dressed in the colours of Paris 2012,
Ile-de-France is currently ranked fifth in the competition.
Jimmy Pahun, French skipper and former Olympic athlete, expressed his enthusiasm
for the project : “For nearly 30 years, La Rochelle has been the French sailing
institution, having staged the World and European Championships, and the prestigious
Finn only 3 month ago. It is one of the most beautiful, interesting and technical
water sites I have experienced. And La Rochelle truly loves sailing”.