Organiser of Paris Olympics keeps focus on Games, not politics

The chief organiser of the Paris Olympics says he is focused on preparing for the Games later this month rather than the political turmoil gripping France.

Tony Estanguet, president of the committee organising the Olympics and Paralympics, was asked whether the stated values of Paris 2024 and its motto "Games Wide Open" were consistent with the agenda of the far-right National Rally (RN) party, which topped snap parliamentary polls at the weekend.

"I want us to respect this major democratic moment and we need to stay in our place so that French people can enjoy these Games which they can't wait to see," he told reporters during a visit to the Olympic village earlier this week.

'Bring people together'

Estanguet stressed that the aim of the Olympics was to "bring people together".

The Games are intended to "demonstrate the audacity and the best of what our country has to offer the world [...] and to make people proud of what the country is capable of organising. There's also a desire to bring French people together," he said.

"We are focused on that," he added.

A new left-wing alliance finished second, with President Emmanuel Macron's centrist allies trailing in third.

Macron's unexpected decision to call early elections is widely seen as having backfired, with the political uncertainty risking overshadowing the Paris Games.

(with AFP)

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