PARIS (Reuters) – The deadly attacks on Paris will not hurt the French capital’s chances of hosting the 2024 Summer Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said on Monday.
A coordinated assault on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a soccer stadium killed at least 129 people on Friday, raising security fears over upcoming events to be held in France, from the Climate Summit starting on Nov. 30 or next year’s Euro 2016 finals and Tour de France cycle race.
The host city of the 2024 Games will be designated in 2017 but Bach believes the atrocity that struck Paris, announced as one of five candidate cities in September, will have no bearing on the outcome of the IOC vote.
“We are talking about the Olympic Games that will be held in nine years and terrorism is global, it is not just about a country or a city,” Bach told French sports daily L’Equipe.
Asked whether Friday’s attacks could influence the September 2017 vote being held in Peru, Bach replied: “No, the IOC members have a lot of experience… they know that nobody knows how the world will be in nine years and they know that terrorism is not a French or a Parisian problem, that it is a global challenge.
“It does not only concern sports but all the big events and the whole society. You cannot concede victory to the terrorists. We must be united and firm, especially with the Olympic Games.”
The Olympics have experienced attacks in the past.
In 1972, 11 members of the Israel Olympic team and a German police officer were killed by Palestinian group Black September at the Munich Olympics.
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, one person was killed and another died of a heart attack after a pipe bomb that injured more than 100 others was detonated at the Centennial Olympic Park.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by John O’Brien)