The Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission on the starting blocks

The Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission on the starting blocks

The Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission met for the first time today at the site of the future Olympic and Paralympic Village. Chaired by Martin Fourcade, the Commission will contribute over the next six years in the delivery of an exceptional experience for the athletes of the world in 2024, and also help the Games leave a positive and sustainable legacy on society.

The Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission held its first working meeting today at the site of the future Olympic and Paralympic Village. It was a symbolic choice to start this adventure at the Cité du Cinéma in Saint-Denis, which will host 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from all over the world and become the heart of the Games in 2024.

Having the Athletes’ Commission as the first Paris 2024 consultative committee to be created also sends a strong message. Since the launch of the bid almost three years ago, athletes have been in the heart of the project: they truly form the identity of Paris 2024, because they are the key actors behind the magic of the Games. Less than three months from the official launch of the Organising Committee, athletes will therefore start working side by side with Paris 2024.

For this inaugural meeting, the Athletes’ Commission welcomed a special guest: Jonathan Edwards, the Sydney 2000 Olympic champion in triple-jump. The British world record holder joined to share his experience as the former chair of the London 2012 Athletes’ Commission.

A Commission committed to the engagement of an entire nation

Under the leadership of Martin Fourcade, five-time Olympic champion, and in the presence of Tony Estanguet, president of Paris 2024, the 18 members of the Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission (full list attached) will be dedicating their time over the next six years at the service of a double ambition:

To ensure that France organizes successful and history-making Games and that this project is useful for society, living a positive and sustainable legacy, above and beyond the sport competitions.

This work will be conducted in collaboration with the Paris 2024 Sports Director, Jean-Philippe Gatien, and his team, but also with the delivery partners and the members of the Olympic and Paralympic Family.

Among the Commission’s priorities will be to offer an exceptional experience for the athletes of the world in 2024 in areas such as the village, transportation, accommodation, training and competition conditions, food and beverage, accessibility etc.

But beyond that mission, athletes demonstrated already during this first meeting their desire to work side by side with the French public for the six years that will precede the Games. They will therefore be involved in issues such as the development of sport practice, the education through sport, shared sport etc. with the objective of engaging the public across the entire national territory.

Martin FOURCADE, President of the Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission stated : « The Athletes’ Commission will be first and foremost open to the world. Its ambition will be to engage the public to make the event a catalyst for progress, in terms of health, education and inclusion. I am extremely honoured to lead this body and I fully understand my responsibility starting today and for the next six years. We have been waiting for these Games for 100 years and we will do everything we can to make history.”

A Commission which reflects the diversity of the French sports movement

Through its membership, the Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission reflects the diversity of the French sports movement. It demonstrates the DNA of the project and brings a solid Games experience, as shown by the 34 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by its 18 members:

  • Gender balance is absolute, with 9 women and 9 men under the leadership of Martin Fourcade, the highest decorated French Olympian (5 gold medals, 7 total).
  • The Commission reflects the idea of a single and unique project across the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It therefore includes 13 Olympians and 5 Paralympians.
  • To better respond to the expectations of the 15,000 athletes of the Games, the Commission represents as wide a variety as possible of different sports. In total, there are 16 sports represented, to offer different perspectives and enrich athlete experience in areas such as transportation and training, medical services etc.
  • The Commission will also benefit from the presence of different generations of athletes: those that have transitioned into new careers following their retirement from sport, as well as those that are still active, including some hoping to compete in Paris 2024.
  • Finally, this body will benefit from the members’ massive cumulative experience of 28 editions of Olympic Games and 11 editions of Paralympic Games.

Tony ESTANGUET, President of Paris 2024: « As soon as we had the Organising Committee going, we wanted to also launch an Athletes’ Commission that is strong, experienced and reflective of sports that we will see at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The eighteen athletes joining this Commission will have a key role to play in inspiring and maintaining the engagement of the public. Similar to the body chaired by Jonathan Edwards in London 2012, we wish to see a Commission that is creative and innovative and which can contribute fully in the success of the Games and leave a strong social legacy. »   

Prior to this first meeting, Tony Estanguet and Martin Fourcade met with students of STAPS (Physical and Sports Activity Techniques and Sciences) of the University of Paris XIII Saint-Denis in Bobigny. They offered a master class which allowed them to share the ambition of the project and the importance of engaging the entire population. The 350 students attending the session were able to discuss with the two Olympic champions on their Games experience as well as the next steps of the project.