Paris 2024 Olympic bid takes rivals' goodwill to IOC meets
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Leaders of Paris' bid to host the 2024 Olympics took goodwill messages from campaign rivals to meetings with the IOC on Thursday.
Six days after deadly terror attacks on their city, Paris bid staffers fulfilled long-scheduled plans to discuss strategy with Olympic officials.
''It was very strong to share this moment,'' said bid co-president Tony Estanguet, who acknowledged ''for sure, we had very difficult days last week.''
A target of the attacks was the Stade de France which is the 2024 bid's marquee venue. Three suicide bombers blew themselves up and killed a bystander.
Estanguet said the Paris team took strength from opponents in the two-year bidding race who showed their solidarity.
''They were very kind,'' said the three-time Olympic canoe slalom champion. ''There is this special team spirit in sport. We received a very powerful message from the international sports community that we had to fight to defend the values of humanity.''
The 2024 bidders - including Budapest, Hungary; Hamburg, Germany; Los Angeles; and Rome - all have workshop sessions at IOC headquarters this week.
Estanguet described ''a real effort to keep on working on this project'' immediately after the attacks.
''More than ever we are determined to fight and to work very hard,'' he said.
IOC staff guiding the five candidates through the bid process put no special focus on security issues Thursday.
''It is always in the center of any organizing committee,'' said Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois, whose team has talked with government ministers since the attacks.
''We need sports values, Olympic values more than ever in this world,'' Thobois said. ''We feel we have to carry that baton together with the other bid cities.''
IOC members pick the 2024 host in September 2017.