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French president considering bid for 2024 Games

Monday, July 30, 2012 | 11:08 a.m. CDT; updated 2:45 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 30, 2012
French President Francois Hollande, center, and French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron, left, pose with French athletes Nikola Karabatic, left back row, 10m air pistol silver medalist Celine Goberville, second from left, basketball players Tony Parker, center, and Nicolas Batum, second from right, and handball head coach Claude Onesta, right, at the Olympic Village in London on Monday.

LONDON — French President Francois Hollande is considering a bid for the 2024 Olympics after losing the 2012 Games to London.

Hollande, in town Monday to meet with French Olympic athletes, said he would back a bid if "all the conditions of success are present."

France has ruled out a bid for the 2020 Olympics after Annecy lost the 2018 Winter Games to Pyeongchang, South Korea. Before losing to London, Paris failed to win the 2008 Games, which were awarded to Beijing.

Hollande did not mention a city, but France is expected to consider a bid from Paris for the 2024 Summer Games. That would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Olympics in the French capital.

The 2016 Summer Games will be in Rio de Janeiro.

"We can think about Olympic Games we would be able to host in France, probably on the 2024 horizon," Hollande said at the athletes village, where he met San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, and Camille Muffat, who won the Olympic 400-meter freestyle, among others.

"But before making a formal bid, we need to prepare for it well," Hollande added. "We can't afford another failure, after three consecutive setbacks. Paris lost twice and then it was Annecy. It was disappointing, and for the latest Annecy bid, it was a humiliation."

Hollande said France won't push for a bid but that he will listen to the French Olympic committee's recommendations.

"If the sporting community decides to go, if all the conditions of success are present, I will back this bid," he said.

Hollande, who replaced Nicolas Sarkozy as French president earlier this year, was planning to attend various competitions involving French athletes later Monday.

"The Olympics represent a dream," he said.


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