"Putting sport at the heart of the nation", Emmanuel Macron’s wish less than three years from the Paris Olympics

Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday, October 14 a “huge boost” for “putting sport at the heart of the nation” by the 2024 Paris Olympics with the construction of 5,000 local facilities, before paying in person by playing a charity football match with the Variétés Club de France.

The president, who had already participated in training for Olympique de Marseille at the start of his mandate in 2017, put on his crampons again on Thursday, October 14 in Poissy (Yvelines) for the fifty years of Variety (VCF). In a sequence broadcast live, Emmanuel Macron even scored a goal, a penalty, shot full center.

The match was between the Varieties – including former footballers Alain Giresse, Robert Pires, Christian Karembeu to the team of caregivers of the intercommunal hospital center of Poissy Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Its recipe was donated to the Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris-Hôpitaux de France, chaired by Brigitte Macron. The members of the VCF were then expected at the Elysee Palace for dinner.

Earlier today, from Tremblay-en-France and the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, the poorest in France, he recalled “the issue of inheritance” Olympics in terms of equipment. “The goal is not just to have medals, it is to put sport at the heart of the nation”, for the Olympics “but also after”, he said, alongside young 3X3 basketball players.

Emmanuel Macron praised a sports plan “good for the whole nation”, who go “give a huge boost to practices” by 2024. Will thus be built, with “at least 50%” funding provided by the State, 1,000 “citystades” (multisports grounds), 1,000 dojos and combat sports halls, 500 3X3 basketball courts to boost practice, 500 padel tennis courts, 500 skateparks, 200 sites mobile athletes such as pools, or even “innovative” equipment using digital technology. “This plan comes a little late, it should have been initiated in 2018 with a view to a sporting legacy”, MP Régis Juanico (Generation.s) reacted to AFP, who found that “that’s a bit catching up “.

Asked also about the criticisms of his remarks, the day after the Tokyo Olympics, urging French athletes to “do a lot more” in 2024 in terms of medals, Emmanuel Macron regretted “journalistic comments” : “I haven’t seen many athletes shaken by what I said”, he assured. “We took stock and re-mobilized. That’s what all coaches do every day with their team, that’s high-level sport”, he defended. France reported just 33 Olympic medals from Tokyo, below the score of 42 obtained in Rio in 2016.

For Paris-2024, the president had mentioned in mid-September the objective of “Top 5” nations, or about 70 medals according to the Tokyo ranking. A goal considered very ambitious by some, such as boxer Sarah Ourahmoune, vice-president of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) and vice-Olympic champion in Rio, for whom it should rather be “50/60 medals”, she had let go on Tuesday night during a debate at Sciences Po.

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