France stresses values of Olympic movement
Opening of the 2016 Olympic Games – Paris 2024 – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, on his arrival at Rio de Janeiro airport (excerpts)
Rio de Janeiro, 4 August 2016
Q. – The “Paris 2024” logo can be seen on your plane. Is that the reason why you’ve come here – to persuade people Paris is the right choice?
THE PRESIDENT – Yes, I’m going to be here in Rio for two days, primarily with the aim of supporting Paris’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games. It’s a key objective for France, and all the political families are playing an active role, all the cities that may be involved: Paris, but I’m not forgetting Marseille too, and Ile-de-France. France is making a bid through Paris, and it was my duty to be here in Rio to meet as many representatives of the Olympic movement as possible and persuade them Paris is the best choice and France is also the best destination.
However, I have a second goal, namely to support French athletes. There are 350 of them, they’ll be wearing the colours of France, Teddy Riner will be carrying the flag, and we want them to fulfil the hopes placed in them, because in this period, which has been a testing time for France, we need moments of unity.
Lastly, the final and in my opinion the most essential reason for my being here is that the values of the Olympic movement – fraternity, sharing, freedom, tolerance and also effort, in what should be a spirit of world unity – are very important at a time when barbaric acts are taking place, not only in our countries but in a large number of the world’s regions./.