“Games before the Games” was one of the slogans of the joint candidacy of France and Normandy to host the 2022 Gymnasium. This expression, more than a formula, defines the meaning of holding an event on the territory.
The prospect of Paris 2024 prompted UNSS, at the initiative of the Minister of National Education, to look for a territory capable of hosting this event. “The idea was to create a continuum to bring the population to Paris 2024. And the Gymnasium, which is of interest to young people, was a step,” in advance Arnaud Biedel, Regional Director of UNSS.
On the Norman side, the same point of view led communities and cities to take their stand. “We have a lot of sports facilities in Normandy, we have always positioned ourselves as a rear base for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. perspective”, explains Aline Louisi-Louis, Vice-President for Sports in the Normandy region, the second public sponsor of the event (500,000 euros) after the state.
READ ALSO. The Gymnasium is coming to Normandy, but what is it?
With 3,700 young athletes and over 68 delegations from five continents taking part, the entire region is gearing up for the real test days before the launch of the event. “This is the first meeting of this magnitude in France in a long time, especially with minors. sums up Karin Albertus, UNSS Project Director. The youth of Normandy welcomes youth from all over the world. It is quite exceptional in terms of quantity. »
“Good test for infrastructure”
The infrastructure of the district, its possibilities for reception and accommodation will be carefully studied. “This is a good test for the infrastructure ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. This is how we worked with the region. Normandy is the rear base of the Games, equipped with very high-quality equipment. We need to let you know about it.” continues Karin Albertus.
The organization took no risks, relied on a proven infrastructure and was designated as the center of preparation for the Games: the Stade Nautique de Caen (which will host Canada in preparation for Paris 2024), the Hélitas stadium for athletics, the Kindarena for gymnastics. …
Nothing was left to chance, the visit of 15 experts in mid-March allowed all sites to be as detailed as possible. Some will present themselves in a new configuration (for example, the new stands at the Elitas Stadium).
READ ALSO. In Normandy, the “mega-event” of the Gymnasium is approaching… quietly
The goal is to immediately get international delegations to return before the Games. ” We have been working for several months to host and host international team training for Paris 2024. We are totally on board. Presenting our infrastructure to the various federations present during the Gymnasium is one of our goals.” confirms Philippe Ogier, mayor of Deauville, who campaigned for the event to take place in Normandy.
Express Learning Center
The gymnasium will also serve as an “express training center”. Athletes first. Some are aiming for Paris 2024, others are already looking towards Los Angeles. All of them will have to gain experience in the international arena. For the region, this is an opportunity to show off their nuggets.
“We have 15 young people in the French national team, this is important for the region! This shows that we can offer high-level young athletes in several disciplines, that we are a land of discovery, formation. For young people, the opportunity to represent France in their region at the World Cup is to reach the high level of tomorrow – it’s extraordinary.” rejoices Aline Louisi-Louis.
So, for the volunteers, specifically for the 600 young officials (80% from Normandy) who should be found in Paris. “We are working in this direction. Having experienced it, in two years it will become a real added value, launched by Karin Albertus. The idea is that they will benefit from useful learning by 2024 or even beyond.”
Evidence of the importance of the event for the Olympic Games, UNSS and Paris 2024 are in direct proportion. Tony Estangue himself is expected to attend the opening ceremony on Sunday. “We try to serve the project the best we can with our funds. (budget 8 million euros) but the desire to succeed together. At the end of the Gymnasium, we will make an economic, social and environmental report at the service of the Prime Minister.” disclosed Karin Albertus.