Former French Sports Minister Calls for ‘Plan B’ for Paris 2024 Olympic Opening Ceremony Amidst Security Concerns

Former French Sports Minister Calls for ‘Plan B’ for Paris 2024 Olympic Opening Ceremony Amidst Security Concerns

POLICY – Prevention is better than cure. David Douillet, former Minister of Sports and ambassador for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is speaking out this Sunday, October 22, for a “plan B” for the opening ceremony planned on the Seine to be put in place, particularly in the event of high risk of attack.

“I hope that the geopolitical situation will be more peaceful so that we can experience peaceful Games, organized in the best possible conditions. If the day before the lights are crimson red regarding the risk of attack, we will need a plan B for the opening ceremony”declares the former French judo champion in an interview with The Sunday Tribune who judges the current context “concerning in terms of safety. »

Given the international situation since the flaring up of the conflict between Israel and Hamas on October 7, the question of the security of the Olympic Games planned in less than a year in France is more relevant than ever. The opening ceremony on the Seine, already a logistical headache, is particularly questioned.

Estanguet brushes aside a possible backup plan

The president of the organizing committee for the Paris Olympic Games, Tony Estanguet, however, ruled out any relief plan. “No, there is no alternative for the opening ceremony. This was never considered. We took more than a year to make the decision to hold the opening ceremony at this location to guarantee security”he declared during a press conference in India on October 16, three days after the Arras attack. “We are at the highest level in terms of security “, he assures.

But David Douillet does not share his opinion. “There are nine months left, things are getting organized,” he maintains this Sunday. “I don’t see the French state and the organizers taking crazy risks for the population”he adds, while saluting the work of Tony Estanguet and PS mayor Anne Hidalgo.

According to an Ipsos survey carried out for La Tribune Dimanche among a thousand people, 68% of French people questioned say they are confident in the ability of the organizers to ensure the safety of the public and the athletes, during the opening ceremony which will take place on along the Seine on July 26, 2024. A majority (43%) also make safety the first criterion for the success of the event.

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2023-10-22 19:10:36
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