Pierre-Olivier Beckers: “The IOC is ready to take on that responsibility.”

Following the adoption of the new venue map by the Paris 2024 Board and the authority given to the Games Organizing Committee to transfer it to the International Olympic Committee and its Paralympic Counterparts (IPC), we are Pierre Olivier Beckers. I asked the chairman. A member of the IOC Coordinating Committee responsible for monitoring Paris 2024, his opinion on the organization of preliminary basketball tournaments in Lille. Christoph Dubi, director of the IOC’s Olympics, participated in the conversation on video and provided some details.

“What is the location of the IOC on the new venue map?
Pierre-Olivier Beckers: I fully understand the desire to find a solution to the site plan for Paris 2024. This includes a balance of some important considerations, budgets, regions and departments in the distribution of the site, especially at the sports and team sports level. .. We support the decision yesterday to give Paris 2024 the task of providing Pierre Mauroy’s room for the basketball qualifying round. This is the only solution that ultimately makes it possible to achieve all these goals.

When will it be decisively adopted?
P.-OB: There are still some technical considerations regarding the specifications, and once they are validated, the proposal can be placed on the IOC Executive Board table. There are enough executive committees in 2022, but there is no exact date. You will arrive at the last straight line of the file. We are clearly working on validating technical questions from FIBA.

Is it contingent on a discussion of transportation between the two cities?
Christophe Dubi: The decision depends on the arena, but on the other hand, all peripheral elements, especially transportation, need to be addressed in detail. Charles de Gaulle at Gare du Nord has several opportunities, not only on the road, but also on trains with various stations. Of course, you always have to treat athletes at the center, but there are also basketball families, technicians, and ticket owners who may have tickets in Lille or Paris.

Can players use the minibus to travel between Lille and Paris?
CB: COJO (Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee) and FIBA ​​have been working on various scenarios. The team can choose to live in Lille or Paris, and the means of transportation will be determined by the head of the delegation. There are quite a few possible options. This flexibility is fascinating.

What if FIBA ​​still says no to the Lille-Paris option?
P.-OB: The IOC is ready to take on that responsibility. We are working together today to find a solution that first meets the quality of the playing field. Our purpose is to persuade rather than force, but the IOC has made decisions in the past and will do so again.

Have you considered moving badminton and rhythmic gymnastics from the future Porto de la Chapel Arena as FIBA ​​wanted?
CD: No. The Arena Porte de la Chapelle system was shut down in two complementary sports. Paris 2024 referred to London’s 2010 decision (changing badminton and rhythmic gymnastics venues two years before the start of the Games). At that time, I was traveling at night in the Olympic lane between the Olympic Village and Wembley (both sports venues). The reason these two sports are grouped together is that they have the same technical needs, especially in terms of airflow. In a room like the new arena Porto de la Chapel, these flows are perfect, so we won’t touch on these two sports originally planned at the Le Bourget temporary site. When the decision was made, it was made, it is the final one. The balance between the two sports is really perfect. We test it in the past and keep it.

Are you afraid of boycotts of NBA players?
P.-OB: Not at this stage. Remember that the second week of the basketball tournament will take place in Bercy (Accor Arena), the largest hall in central Paris. Still great! At some point you have to be right, and I’m sure the basketball player will make the decision. After all, Pierre Mauroy’s room was a huge success at the European Championships (2015).

CD: I recently read a statement from a player who had a great experience with Lille. It’s a very nice city with a nice community and basketball fans. It’s a community that welcomes not only rooms but also basketball and handball, and I think it will be a special party in Lille like Paris.

Does this standoff leave a mark?
P.-OB: I don’t think so. I think everyone will learn from this episode. It’s in the DNA of sports. At some point, I have to turn pages and think about the next competition as the clock ticks, so look ahead. We look ahead and ensure that we create the best conditions and the best competition for athletes and spectators. I am convinced that as soon as the decision is approved by the IOC Executive Board, everyone will positively expect it.