141 days before the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports, Olympic and Paralympic Games took part in a debate on France Inter with Guillaume Dietsch, Staps teacher in Paris, author of a political history of EPS (Editor De Boeck Supérieur). At the heart of the debate, the place of sport in France.

The countdown to the Olympics: “We feel a sense of anticipation. It’s up to us to answer it. I think we have enormous interest in these Games, both from the media but also from the general public. As things become more concrete, interest will turn into enthusiasm. When the flame arrives on the territory on May 8 in Marseille, a passion will be expressed. For the moment, we do not have the tickets in hand, we do not know all the athletes who will be there, we are rather at a somewhat demanding moment where we are explaining to the population the impacts on daily life. I can understand that there is this climate but we have to fight it.”

The reduced gauge of the opening ceremony: “We are not giving up any ambition, we are going to have an exceptional ceremony (July 26 from 8:24 p.m.) which is unprecedented, which will highlight our culture in this city light that will create emotions. Without giving in to our desire to meet the expectations of the French by making this ceremony as secure as possible. With an invitation system that in no way calls into question the popular dimension of the event. The entire procedure for invitations will be revealed at the end of March. We can report.”

After criticism from Florent Manaudou and Teddy Riner, is France a sporting country: “The situation is evolving. We are a nation of great sportsmen, champions that the whole world envies, teams including women’s who have performed magnificently, who bring joy to the nation. In the same way that we are a country capable of organizing major events, we have 700,000 people who go to the stadiums every weekend and we are this exceptional “co-sports” nation. And we are becoming a sporting nation. For the first time this year, it’s the great cause. And we managed to have 3.5 million additional regular practitioners. We should be happy about it. We want to go further. With an unprecedented effort on sports equipment.”

The excessive price of Olympic tickets: “A huge effort has been made on accessibility, even if yes, the top of the range is expensive. These will be popular Games, with half of the tickets priced at 50 euros or less. We will make sure to have young people, volunteers, people who are involved. We are going to take these audiences on board in this adventure.”

The Olympics are displayed too little: “Matignon is in the colors of the Games. The Town Hall is decorated in the colors of the Games. The Ministry of Sports is in the colors of the Games… The signage is being put in place. In the spring, she will be there.

After Anne Hidalgo and Emmanuel Macron, a swim in the Seine: “I said it. Absolutely. I’ll keep the bet.”

The Top 5 for France in the medal table at the Olympics: “We want to be in the Top 5. The projections allow us to think that we can achieve this objective. French sport is doing well. With increasing recognition for our athletes. In Rio, 40% of the delegation lived below the poverty line. There will not be an athlete below the poverty line who will appear at the Paris Games and we ensure that for those we particularly follow there will be at least 40,000 euros per year. We have made considerable progress.”

Aya Nakamura singing Edith Piaf at the opening ceremony: “Thomas Jolly is the boss of the opening ceremony. We will have great artists. Personally, I love Aya Nakamura. It’s no coincidence that she is the most listened to French-speaking artist in the world…”

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