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Paris 2012 Olympic bid

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Paris 2012 Olympic bid

Paris 2012 was an unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Paris. The bidding race was eventually won by the London 2012 bid after a 54-50 vote of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 6 July 2005.[1] The French capital's failure to win the 2012 games follows the attempts of the Paris 2008 and Paris 1992 bids.


The Paris 2012 Committee

The French National Olympic Committee (French: Le Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français (CNOSF)), the city of Paris, the Île-de-France region and France itself formed a public interest group called “Paris-Île-de-France 2012”. Chaired by Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, the group was responsible for supporting and promoting Paris' bid.

International Olympic Committee evaluation report

The IOC gave the Paris 2012 bid almost universal praise, as shown in the following excerpt from their evaluation:

Paris has based its vision on the long-standing relationship between Olympism and France and has planned athlete-centered Games. Paris has committed to providing a legacy to the city, the region, French athletes and the community generally. The Olympic Village would provide a significant new housing opportunity for inner Paris. The Paralympic Games are well integrated into the planning of Paris 2012. Overall, the environmental actions are comprehensive, innovative and integrated throughout planning and operations, and would result in significant gains and legacies from the Games. The budget has been professionally prepared with great detail. Assumptions for the budget are well supported and documented. Paris has extensive, well maintained and operated metropolitan road and rail transport systems. Paris has a rich cultural heritage with regard to Olympism. The candidature file and the information provided to the Commission during its visit were of a very high quality.

Important dates

  • 21 May 2003: Paris' Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë announces official candidature of Paris “Nous requérons l'honneur d'organiser les jeux olympiques de 2012. Nous sommes là pour gagner. [We seek the honour of organising the Olympic Games of 2012. We are here to win.]
  • November 2004: a large “pin' S” is installed on Eiffel Tower with the colours of Paris 2012.
  • 6 January 2005: several monuments and bridges of Paris are lit with the colours of the Olympic rings (green, yellow, red and blue) in honour of the Parisian candidacy: Palais Bourbon which lodges the National Assembly (left bank), Paris City Hall (right bank), the Eiffel Tower, and four bridges of the Seine Marie Bridge, Bridge of the Harmony, Michaelmas Bridge and footbridge Debilly will display the logo of Paris 2012 until 6 July 2005.
  • 9 to 12 March 2005: Paris is visited by the IOC Evaluation Commission
  • 5 June 2005: Champs-Élysées is transformed into a big sports ground.
  • 6 July 2005: Nomination of Candidature of the Olympic Games received by the 120 members of the IOC at a ceremony in Singapore.

Candidates' file


The Paris organizing committee proposed to hold the games from 27 July to 12 August 2012. These dates offer the most favorable climatic conditions for the athletes.[2]


Paris proposed that the organizing committee for the games (OCOG) would need US$2.65 billion to run and prepare for the games. Non-OCOG budgeting would include US$2.2 billion specifically for the games and another US$6 billion for general infrastructure enhancements over a longer period of time.[2]

The national, regional, and local governments are all committed to funding the games, and the national government says that it will cover any shortfall the Paris OCOG experiences.[2]

The Olympic village

The goal was to place the 17,000 athletes and guides under the best conditions in the middle of the Games. The “one village, two cores” concept of the Paris 2012 bid would have placed the Olympic and Paralympic village in Paris only 6 kilometres from the two cores of competition venues that would have been used for 80% of the events. The "Olympic Ways", in the immediate vicinity, would have made it possible to guarantee the effectiveness and efficiency of transportation; according to the bid team, it would have taken less than ten minutes to reach either of the venue clusters. The village would have been placed in the north-west of Paris, in the 17th arrondissement on an industrial wasteland belonging to the SNCF.


The venue concept for the Paris bid was focused around two principal clusters, a Northern core around the Stade de France and a Western core established around the Stade Roland Garros .[3] Sixteen additional venues (including 11 temporary ones) were to be constructed for the Games.

Northern Core

  • Stade de France
  • Aquatics center
  • SuperDôme (for gymnastics)
  • House 1
  • House 2
  • House 3
  • House 4
  • House 5
  • House 6

Western Core

Other sites in Paris

Elsewhere in France

Previous bids

It is the third time in recent years that Paris has sought hosting rights for the Olympic Games.

Future Bids

The IOC's decision to hold the 2012 Games in London was a massive blow to France due to this being Paris' third failed attempt to host the Olympic Games in the last twenty years.

Throughout Paris' 2012 bid, great emphasis was placed on France's love and passion for sport. Two previous failures to host the Games led many to believe that Paris had learnt from its mistakes and would produce a strong bid that would not be easily challenged. This remained the case throughout much of the process as Paris was almost always the favourite to win. However, the final decision was between London and Paris, the capitals of the United Kingdom and France, two nations with a history of rivalry. The decision of either Paris or London for 2012 would also be historic as either city would have become the first city to host the Olympic Games three times (London hosted the Games in 1908 and 1948, whilst Paris played host in 1900 and 1924). There was a huge outcry in Paris when the French capital was rejected yet again to host the Olympic Games. A sense of disbelief swept across crowds of French sports fans who had always remained confident that they would win.

It is as yet uncertain whether Paris will make future bids for the Olympic Games. The London 2012 Games means that it would be highly unlikely that Paris would host the Olympics for some time after 2012, due to Paris' close proximity to London, and that the Games would have been held in Europe twice in eight years (see: Athens 2004). At a time when relations between the UK and France were at a particularly low point, due to conflicting views on the War in Iraq and differences on the future of the European Union, the decision to host the 2012 Games was yet another element to sour British-French relations.

Paris may bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. They were considering a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics but decided to wait until 2024. Hosting in 2024 would mark 100 years since Paris hosted the 1924 Summer Olympics which was the last time they hosted. If Paris hosts the 2024 Games they would become the second city after London to host the Olympics three times.[4]


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