Sunday, October 20, 2013

Killy warns Paris 2024 bid against arrogance

PHOTO | KENZO TRIBOUILLARD | FILE An areal view of Paris.

PHOTO | KENZO TRIBOUILLARD | FILE An areal view of Paris.  AFP

By AFP
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PARIS

France's longest serving Olympic member Jean-Claude Killy has warned against Paris adopting the same arrogant approach that was associated with their failed bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games should they join the race to stage the 2024 Olympics.

"We must stop putting ourselves forward as something we're not," the 70-year-old triple Olympic ski champion told French newspaper Journal du Dimanche on Sunday.

"We can't turn up once every ten years and tell the whole world what the Olympic movement is about, that shows arrogance, and then go and repeat that ten years later."

Killy, who gave his lukewarm support to Annecy's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics which ended in humiliating defeat with just seven votes, gave Paris a word of advice should they emerge as 2024 host city candidates.

"They should create a Team France obviously backed by the mayor (of Paris).

"It also helps to pay attention to the competition. The Americans will be hard to beat."

He said they should adopt a position of "humility, of listening and of perseverance".

CENTENARY CARD

His reference to a mayor-backed 'Team France' was an allusion to the way London's candidacy, enthusiastically supported by then London mayor Ken Livingstone, stunned favourites Paris in the vote for the 2012 Summer Games.

Killy added that it would be a mistake to play the centenary card, Paris having last hosted the world sporting spectacle in 1824.

"Never (should they adopt this strategy), looking at its scope and responsibilities a romantic IOC no longer exists."

Killy, head of Sochi 2014's coordination commission and mastermind of Albertville's successful hosting of the 1992 Winter Games, ruled out playing any significant role in an eventual Paris bid.

"Out of the question, or only a helping hand.."