D-100 Olympic Games Paris 2024: security, transport, organization, where were Barcelona, ​​London or Athens 100 days before their Olympic Games ?

D-100 Olympic Games Paris 2024: security, transport, organization, where were Barcelona, ​​London or Athens 100 days before their Olympic Games ?

ondres 2012dans les temps avec une cérémonie parfaitement maîtrisée dans un stade. Paris-2024, lui, fera le Paris audacieux et risqué d’un spectacle sur la Seine. MAXPPP – Smart Pictures

Too often synonymous with deficit, the organization of the Olympic Games in Europe has generated very contrasting experiences, until the London experience of 2012, very comparable to that of Paris.

100 days before lighting, is Paris-2024 on schedule ? To find out, we have to dig up photos, some of which are a little yellowed. Snapshots of the passage times of previous European capitals having organized the Olympic high mass. From London 2012 to Barcelona 1992, a contrasting and very instructive flashback.

1. London 2012: almost a "copy-pasted" from Paris

Security is one of the positions that makes the Paris-2024 organizing committee and the French authorities tremble. It was also the concern first for the organizers of the London Olympics in 2012. "I am convinced that we will deliver secure and safe games" declared to J-100 Hugh Robertson, Secretary of State in charge of the Olympic Games, who resolved to mobilize 40,000 men for this post with an envelope doubled and increased to 670 million euros.

As with our Parisian games, the urgent modernization of the transport network and the excessively high cost of tickets had rooted the controversy before. From this point of view, London was in transition times. Like Paris for Seine-Saint-Denis, the British capital, with its slogan “inspire a generation”, had placed emphasis on the Olympic heritage with installations supposed to benefit the East End of London, notably an Olympic village with a future of social housing.

At this stage, His Majesty's subjects were as skeptical as the French in recent weeks: 64% found the bill too steep. It must be said that the initial budget (6.35 billion euros) had soared, in a Europe still marked by the subprime crisis, to end up at nearly 14 billion (29 with indirect costs) . The organizing committee even cut aid dedicated to athletes by 48 million pounds!

2. Athens 2004: delays and deficit, games in the red!

Remember, 20 years ago: for the great return of the games to their ancient cradle, the Greek organizers were in bright red on D – 100. Less than 50% of the tickets had been sold and delays were accumulating on essential sites such as the tram lines or the Olympic stadium, aggravated by strikes by construction workers, demanding wage increases. ;

This "blackmail" of certain corporations is a classic in the final stretch. The Parisian organizers and the French state are also confronted with it, whether they come from transport (SNCF, RATP) or from angry police officers.

Unlike Paris which controls its costs relatively well, this caused expenditure to soar in Athens for a final budget doubled compared to the forecast (9 billion euros instead of 4.5). ;Enough to throw the country into an economic crisis from which it has not yet recovered. Because another post had been very expensive: security, already! The minor explosion of several bombs in the capital on D-100 had prompted the authorities to mobilize 70,000 men and spend a billion €' on this one post.

While some experts doubted Athens' ability to keep to the schedule, the Olympics began on the scheduled date. But the journalist arriving on site was only half surprised to see electrical wires still emerging from the false ceilings of the installations or gardeners hastily planting shrubs along the paths, in 40 degree weather.

3. Barcelona 1992: the ideal of Olympic success

Much further away from us, a large Catalan metropolis defied this inevitability of deficit and lavish spending to make the 92 Olympics something resembling a masterstroke. The Games in Barcelona, ​​the year of the Universal Expo in Seville, were the occasion of a rebirth for Spain after a half century of stagnation.

By creating a double ring road to open up the city, by redoing its sewer network, by rehabilitating its old neighborhoods, by razing the magma of factories, #39;warehouses and slums which cut it off from the sea, the monumental Olympic construction site transformed the industrial and rough Barcelona, ​​cradle of trade unionism, into a trendy seaside tourist city.

Laurent Thieule: “In Barcelona there was very strong popular support”

As organizer of the 1993 Mediterranean Games, you closely followed that of the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympics. Where were they at D-100 ?

As I recall, there was no panic. The major projects were well “timed”. The Catalans are pragmatic and efficient. I remember the urban development vision of the mayor at the time, Pascal Maragall, who wanted to transform the city. The games are always well organized, the most important thing is the legacy we make of them. In Barcelona it is obvious, with a cultural offer that has become richer. In 1992, too, Savoie, through Albertville, opened up the entire region. Michel Barnier had road and infrastructure developments financed by the State. Thanks to this we are able to organize games again in the Alps.

Barcelona marked a turning point in the organization ?

I felt a very strong popular support for these games which is not always the case. And it was not won because their first sporting identity, brand of the city, is Barça. The sport that had the best success was football at the Nou Camp. We had the impression that Spain, gold medalist, had won the World Cup!

Many teams came to prepare in Languedoc-Roussillon…

We had a lot of American teams on final training to recover from jet lag. The athletics and swimming selections in Narbonne, that of women's basketball in Castelnau. We welcomed a total of 1,500 athletes.

And you dared to have an opening ceremony on water for the 93 Mediterranean Games’hellip;

We did that in Cap d’Agde with Jérôme Savary and 22,000 spectators "only". A great moment.

Security, an eternal obsession, ensured in the form of great international cooperation to counter Ira and Eta, the work will take place on time. Only four hotel projects will not come to fruition, with liners providing part of the accommodation.

Even against the backdrop of a national plan to curb a chronic public deficit, the 8.4 billion investments (including 40% financed by the private sector) will create 120,000 jobs out of 5 years and will make Barcelona the 4th European tourist destination. Since then, no organizing city has come so close to a certain ideal of Olympic success.

"We have replaced the myth of Catalan anarchy and resistance to Francoism with those of Olympicism, of & #39;Europe and design", aptly summed up the writer Vasquez Montalban.

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