As in Tokyo six months earlier, a mixed duo of French athletes will wear the colors blue white red in Beijing on February 4, 2022, the day of the opening ceremony of the 24th Olympic Winter Games. Lhe French National Olympic and Sports Committee has changed the method of designating these flag bearers for the Chinese meeting. In this new three-stage operation, the public is called upon to vote from Friday, December 17.
And Martin Fourcade was chosen as the French flag bearer for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 by the board of directors of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), the method of designation for Beijing 2022 is much longer and more complex. The CNOSF has devised a new process in three stages stretching over several weeks. “Our objective is to harmonize the selection methods and therefore to apply what is done in summer to winter, with an election by peers”, justifies Rose Blondel, CNOSF communications officer.
The final vote will be held around January 21, 2022, after the publication of the Olympic selection. And the names of the lucky ones will be revealed between January 24 and 27, just ten days before the opening of the Games. Along with this announcement, the names of the flag bearers for the Paralympic Games will also be revealed. While the details of this latest election have not yet been released, the process will be different. “Eligible athletes, according to defined criteria, will be able to stand as candidates to the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF), then athletes from the Beijing 2022 wide list, whose selections are not yet effective, will be able to vote for the candidate of their choice”, the CPSF told farnceinfo: sport.
Main novelty: for the first time, the public is asked to select Olympic flag bearers – last summer, Internet users had already elected Sandrine Martinet and Stéphane Houdet to lead the Paralympic delegation in Tokyo. “Including the general public in the process allows us to make more widely talk about the Beijing Games, the Olympic winter sports and the athletes who are ultimately relatively unknown, apart from two or three headliners”, Details Rose Blondel.
The public is called to vote from December 17 on the Facebook page of the French Olympic team. But beware, the French will not directly choose the two athletes who will have the honor of waving the tricolor banner. They will have to select the ambassadors in each discipline. All from a panel of 69 athletes previously nominated by the three Olympic winter federations (skiing, ice sports, ice hockey). To choose their candidates for ambassador status, the federations used several criteria: “the sports achievements, in particular Olympic medals, respect for and the embodiment of Olympic values, sports ethics “.
A vote will be organized in each discipline for seven days. Staggered, the procedure will end on January 7. First to open the ball: biathlon, with a vote launched on December 17 at 3 p.m.
Like the American elections, the 26 ambassadors elected by Internet users will form a “college of large voters”. They will elect from “collegial manner” among them the two standard bearers of the French delegation. Important subtlety: ambassadors may or may not be a candidate for this role which is as prestigious as it is sometimes heavy to bear. Being an ambassador does not therefore necessarily mean being a candidate, but it is impossible to be one without having received the assent of his federation and then of the public.
In addition, Olympic sports such as ice hockey, although not qualified in Beijing, will send ambassadors, who in fact will not be able to stand as candidates.