#3 - From opportunity to action

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Before launching the new bid – and after taking the time to assess those from previous years – the sports movement made the decision to examine the prospect of a new French Olympic project.

Michael Aloisio served as Olympic ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games and National Technical Director (DTN) for the French Taekwondo association, before joining the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) on 25 February 2013 as Executive Director for the French Committee for International Sport (CFSI).

Akickoff meeting for the CFSI was held on 4 April 2013. Chaired by Bernard Lapasset, the CFSI identified a set of priorities to promote France as a host for major sports events and support the country’s Olympic and Paralympic ambitions. The first meeting had alluded to conducting a feasibility study for an Olympic and Paralympic bid, which was then confirmed on 18 December 2013.

The feasibility study was officially launched on 26 May 2014 and focused on three key aspects : the candidate city’s long-term vision (impact/legacy), viability and context. From June to October 2014, 200 participants from a wide range of backgrounds – from local communities, the business world, the sports movement, etc. – came together over the course of 12 brainstorming workshops to provide further input. On 4 November 2014, 250 proposals were submitted to Maison du Sport Français, the headquarters of CNOSF.

Soon after, then-President François Hollande appeared on the French television programme “Face aux Français” on 6 November, and made his first public announcement supporting a Paris bid to host the Summer Olympics. Then on 11 November, the Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESER) for Ile-de-France published a report and issued a decision in favour of the Paris/Ile-de-France bid.


President François Hollande met with Denis Masseglia and Bernard Lapasset at the Élysée Palace on 12 January 2015, in order to discuss France’s Olympic project, confirming that the likelihood of an official bid had grown.

Thursday, 12 February 2015 was a definitive turning point.

The feasibility report – finalised by the CNOSF and favourable to the Paris bid – was submitted to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and publicly presented at the Hôtel de Ville in the French capital. Hidalgo endorsed the report’s conclusions and voiced her support for the Paris Olympic project. That same day, the feasibility report was also submitted to the Ile-de-France regional council and to the French Minister of Sport.

Together with the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF), which had been involved in the feasibility process from the start, the various stakeholders in the Paris 2024 bid – CNOSF, the City of Paris, the French State, the Ile-de-France region and local authorities—all found themselves at the same starting line.

The structure of the bid would soon take shape – starting with the Olympic Ambition Association (AAO), which was created on 2 April 2015 at Maison du Sport Français by Denis Masseglia, Bernard Lapasset and the French Minister of Sport at the time, Thierry Braillard.

© Henri Garat, Mairie de Paris

On 13 April, the Paris City Council approved by an overwhelming majority Paris’s commitment to bid for the Olympic Games. Two days later, the first meeting of the AAO was held at CNOSF; it was attended by Guy Drut, Anne Hidalgo, Thierry Braillard, Denis Masseglia, and President of the CPSF Emmanuelle Assmann. Representatives from the various local and public authorities, including the President of the Ile-de-France regional council Jean-Paul Huchon, were also present.

Tony Estanguet was then appointed Vice-President of the AAO under Bernard Lapasset, and Étienne Thobois was named Managing Director. The sport movement holds the majority.

On 7 May that same year, the Ile-de-France regional council officially voted to support the Paris bid.


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