“This bid, as you know, is dear to my heart and has my full support”: those were the words that France 's leader used in reiterating his enthusiasm for the idea of having Paris host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
In Jacques Chirac's view, the reasons are obvious: “ Paris , a thinker's capital, a cultural capital and an economic metropolis, is also asserting itself, year after year, as one of the sports capitals of the world”.
The French President, himself former Mayor of Paris, cited the recent example of the IAAF World Athletics Championships, successfully organised in Summer 2003 in Paris-Saint-Denis: “A hands-down success in the eyes of the French people, they offered further confirmation, after the FIFA World Cup in 1998, that Paris, its region and the French sporting movement, in close conjunction with the Government, are able to put together, host and run major events in sports.”
Jacques Chirac made this reference on Tuesday 6 January, just after Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris and President of Paris 2012, addressed him for the New Year.
The Olympic Values
Already last May, the President of France expressed his satisfaction with Paris' bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In a press release, he emphasised that France would “be intent on illustrating and asserting the values that underpin Olympism: unity, commitment and respect for others”.
“France and French sports as a whole are fortunate to have this opportunity”, he added, in conclusion.