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Leading French entrepreneur backs Paris 2012 bid

Arnaud Lagardère: “Why I am committed to Paris 2012”.
The Press Release (Doc - 81 Ko)
- The Corporate Club
Paris’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games was further boosted when Arnaud Lagardère, Chairman and CEO of the Lagardère SCA Group, the French media and high technology group, and Chairman of the Paris 2012 Corporate Club, reaffirmed his support in an interview with newspaper “Le Parisien - Aujourd’hui en France”.
Lagardère, a well-known business leader and industry authority, explained why he is so strongly committed to helping Paris 2012 bring the Games to the French capital.
“You can’t just measure the standing of a country by its GDP. To get the full picture, you also need to consider its cultural strengths and sporting excellence. I want to highlight and celebrate all these aspects of France, through my company, through my involvement in the media and also through my support for the Paris 2012 bid.
“When you enter a competition, it’s because you want to win it. We need to ensure we keep the competitive spirit alive because this spurs us on to even greater things. Frankly, you’re even stronger if you’re not certain of winning - which is the case today. We need to turn France into the greatest team in the world and we’ll do everything we can to win this competition, within the confines of the IOC rules.
“I believe that Paris and indeed France will be profoundly changed if we’re given the opportunity to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I’m not saying “we deserve it”; I’m saying “we need it”. The Games are a catalyst for business development, for sports development and, above all, for social cohesion. We need the Games and I am ready to fight to win them.”
Talking about his role as President of the Paris 2012 Corporate Club, Lagardère added: “The Paris 2012 Corporate Club represents a unique mobilization of business in Games bid history. 11 of France’s major companies are behind the bid and 2,000 small and medium sized companies will also join us. Contributing to Paris 2012 is a financial challenge, but also a sporting one. French companies take a great deal of national pride in supporting our country and winning the Games is a challenge every French business will rise to."
“Beyond a financial contribution, each member of the Corporate Club is committed to mobilizing its human resources. Together, we represent two million people worldwide. Each member is globally recognized and offers a corporate robustness and solidity that is reassuring to the IOC members. They guarantee that a Paris Games will be all about promises delivered.”
Arnaud Lagardère was in Marseille today to address small and medium-sized companies of the South region of France, inviting them to be involved in Paris’ Bid. With Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille, Lagardère reiterated how the combined national business support is key to the success of the Bid.
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