Day One Of Paris 2012 Inspection By IOC
The 13-members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission arrived in Paris Tuesday and chairperson Nawal El Moutawakel was greeted at Paris’ main airport by the city’s Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who is also the President of Paris 2012, and French Sports Minister Jean Francois Lamour.
Wednesday, the first official inspection day, the commission focus was on the concept of Paris 2012 and a presentation of “L’Amour des Jeux”.
There was a series of work meetings Wednesday morning, which unravelled the different aspects of the bid: Olympic Games Concept and Legacy, Sports and Venues, and Olympic Village.
The members of the team then went to Paris’ city hall for a work meeting with the city’s Mayor. There is also a visit to Croix Catelan, site of the 1900 Paris Olympic, scheduled during the day.
Later in the day the commission will return to the Grand Hotel whey they will inspect Paris 2012 on the following themes: Environment and Meteorology, Accommodation, Transport and Paralympics.
Thursday the commission will tour the proposed Olympic and Paralympic venues, including the Eiffel Tower – proposed venue for beach volleyball, on Friday there is lunch with Foreign Minister Michel Barnier and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, and dinner at the Elysee Palace hosted by President Jacques Chirac.
On Saturday, the last day of the visit, the commission will visit non-cluster venues, including Bercy Palais Omnisport.
Eighteen of the proposed 30 sites are within a 10-minute drive from the planned Olympic Village, which will be constructed on a disused railyard in Batignolles.
Paris promises a low-impact bid and boasts that 65 per cent of its venues are completed. Four more permanent venues will be built – a velodrome, aquatic centre, shooting centre and “Superdome” complex, plus 18 temporary facilities.
Paris proposes a village in the suburb of Les Batignolles, three miles from the Arc de Triomphe and halfway between two “venue clusters”.
Paris will use existing transport and run Olympic lanes on the peripherique.
Although there’s been a lot of publicity about strikes that could mar the IOC’s visit to Paris this week, Paris’ bid has suffered another setback. The Evening Standard reports that three members of the Paris 2012 bid team, including IOC member and former sports minister Guy Drut, face charges over alleged corrupt political party finances.
Drut is reportedly among 47 politicians and businessmen who will stand trial in Paris on March 21 over alleged corrupt political party finances, although he denies the allegations.
And fellow bid team member Jean Paul Huchon, president of the Paris regional council, is being investigated over an unrelated allegation that his wife and others were paid for bogus jobs by firms the region contracted. No charges have yet been brought but police are investigating.
Also fraud officers raided the home of Christian Bimes last week. He is vice president of the French Olympic Committee and a member of the Paris 2012 bid committee.
Drut appeared subdued at a news conference Tuesday night to launch the IOC visit, reports the newspaper.
A Paris 2012 bid spokesman said, “this has nothing to do with his (Drut’s) work for the bid and as an IOC member we believe the IOC will realize that and it will be business as usual”. Write or read comments about this article
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