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President Chirac reaffirms total commitment to Paris 2012

"L’Amour des Jeux" heightens as the 2004 French Olympic medallists receive the "Legion d’Honneur" for their outstanding achievements and contribution to French sport.
The press release (Doc - 73 Ko)
Paris, September 28, 2004 – French President Jacques Chirac today reaffirmed his determination and commitment to stage the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, as he decorated France’s forty-eight Olympic Medallists from Athens 2004 at a reception at the Elysée Palace.
All medallists received high order decorations and the first time Gold Medallists received the ‘Legion d’Honneur’, the highest recognition of the French Republic.
In the presence of senior French sports and political figures, including Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, President Chirac said:
"The candidacy of Paris is the candidacy of the entire nation. You can rely on my absolute determination to support it, to defend it and, with all of you, to win it".
"I know that French men and women are ready to offer to the Games their passion for sport, their experience in organising major sporting events, their love of celebration and their curiosity for talent from all around the world".
"France is ready for this magical truce where all nations are gathered not to fight but to surpass their limits".
President Chirac told the French medal winners from last month’s Games in Athens:
"More than a century after the resurrection of the Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, France is ready once again to become the country of Olympism. Paris possesses numerous assets which have made it the world’s premier tourist destination for many years, including the unique character of its monuments, the wealth of sports facilities, the accommodation capabilities and exceptional quality transport infrastructure".

"Most important is the active support received from the entire country: from the public authorities, thanks to the combined efforts of the State, the Ile-de-France Region and the City of Paris ; from the French sporting movement ; from the business world, thanks to the contributions of our major companies ; and above all, from the French men and women who would do everything to ensure the 2012 Olympics would not only create an exceptional sporting experience, but also unity around the universal values of solidarity and humanity which are the heart and soul of the Olympic message".
President Chirac began his presentation by paying tribute to the French Paralympic team in Athens saying, "It will be my pleasure to welcome our Paralympic team here [at the Elysée Palace] before the end of October".
Leading Paris 2012 officials were also present to congratulate the medallists, including Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris and President of Paris 2012; Jean-François Lamour, French Sports Minister and Henri Sérandour, President of the French National Olympic Committee.
French International Olympic Committee members, Jean-Claude Killy, Guy Drut and Alain Danet, along with Philippe Baudillon, CEO of the Paris Bid, were also among the invitees.
President Chirac praised the Paris 2012 team by saying, "I would like to applaud the Paris 2012 CEO, Philippe Baudillon, as well as his entire team, who are preparing an ambitious and innovative project".
Following the award ceremony, the Olympic Medallists were escorted to the Town Hall for a Paris 2012 reception hosted by Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris and President of Paris 2012.
Images of this and other events are available at
or through the Paris 2012 Global Media Office.
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Free phone: +800 2012 2012
Within France, dial 00.800.2012.2012
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