Interview: Youth Olympics laboratory for testing new ideas, says Paris 2024 President

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 13, 2020
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By sportswriters Su Bin, Yang Fan

LES ROUSSES, France, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet highlighted the role Youth Olympic Games played in the Olympic Movement.

"The YOG (Youth Olympic Games) are very important as a laboratory for new ideas and innovations," he pointed out in an exclusive interview with Xinhua here on Sunday.

The three-time Olympic gold medal winner in canoe paid a visit to the Les Tuffes Nordic Center, the only competition site outside Switzerland to host the ongoing Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

"It's really impressive. This is the first time for such an Olympic event held by two countries working together. There has been fantastic collaboration between the two countries and the two organizing committees," he said.

"I'm impressed because it (collaboration) is really smooth between people from the Lausanne 2020 and from Les Tuffes," he added. "They have worked together over the last two years. The result is just amazing. The crowds are very excited. The athletes are very happy."

"It's also a good dynamic that we launched around the Olympic sport in our country. It will be a good signal that we send to the French people that there is expertise in France and also place to manage a fantastic event."

Last April, Paris 2024 and Lausanne 2020 signed a collaboration agreement which focused on sharing their expertise and good practice.

"It's really important for my team of Paris 2024 to take part in this event," noted Estanguet, who revealed that around 25 to 30 people from Paris 2024 are involved in the team of Lausanne 2020 in terms of transportation management, security and sport management.

"That's why we signed this MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to have the possibility to send people from the team to feel the Games and also develop the expertise," Estanguet mentioned.

Looking ahead to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games two years away, the Paris 2024 chief said, "In France, winter sports are also very strong. There will be good expectation from France to watch and attend the Games in Beijing 2022. The French team is already preparing."

"I'm sure it will be also for Paris 2024 to launch the final dynamic two years before the Games. This country really loves the winter sports," he added.

For Estanguet, Paris 2024 organization "is going very well".

"I'm excited this year will be a special year for Paris 2024," he said. "For our team, it will be a very special moment in Tokyo at the closing ceremony to officially become the next edition of Summer (Olympic) Games."

"We are still using the last months before this moment to be ready to take over after Tokyo 2020."

Last year, Paris 2024 proposed an inclusion of breakdancing, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing into the Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was later in favor of a provisional inclusion of four additional sports.

YOG is regarded as a platform for new sports to finally feature in the Olympics.

Sport climbing is an example, appearing as a medal event at the YOG Buenos Aires 2018 and it is set to make debut in the Tokyo Olympics.

After getting the nod from the IOC executive board on Wednesday, Wushu is set to debut as an official sport at the YOG Dakar 2022.

"I really support the fact that in the YOG, we can really use this opportunity of testing new sports, new forms and new ideas," Estanguet said. "I'm sure it will be helpful for the future of the Movement to test new way of organizing this event." Enditem

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