Torch relay at the Paris 2024 Olympics: Tony Estanguet defends himself

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For the past week, on the heels of the Creuse, several departments have indicated that they do not wish to pay 150,000 euros for the torch relay to pass within their perimeter. In collaboration with the Assembly of French Departments (ADF), Paris 2024 launched a call last December to all 101 departments, declared ” pivot rung to welcome the torch relay. In support, the seven-page specifications detailed the rights, duties and above all the price to be paid of 150,000 euros. Far too expensive believe several department presidents who make it known.

“We are not in a logic of making money”, replied Tony Estanguet. “It’s a contribution to the cost because the costs that are generated by this route of the torch relay over three months are much greater than the contribution that is requested from the departments. It is also the result of a benchmark that we carried out with other traveling events,” continues the COJO boss, alluding to the Tour de France. “There are spinoffs that are important for the territories to host this program so there is a participation that can be spread over three years (2022 to 2024). The price was not set by Paris 2024 but we associated the associations of elected officials and the latter found that it was a price accessible to all territories, “ he details.

The Olympic flame that crosses the 101 departments? Unlikely

“A very large majority of departments have already welcomed this approach. When the departments have formalized their application, we will be able to look at the exact course and co-construct it with them”, adds the triple Olympic canoe C1 champion. Discussions are continuing with the departments, in particular through the ADF. If the Paris 2024 committee wishes to associate a maximum of them, it does not however see any obligation for the relay to cross the 101 departments.

“Beyond the torch relay, there will be many other ways for the territories to participate in the Games: with the Games preparation centers to welcome foreign athletes as part of their preparation, by participating in all the Paris 2024 programs, such as Olympic and Paralympic week at school, Olympic day”, concludes Tony Estanguet.

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