The original plans for the Paris 2024 Olympics have become obsolete and out of touch with reality in wake of coronavirus pandemic, says Olympic gold medallist and long-time International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Guy Drut. Also Read - Wriddhiman Saha Breaks Silence on Being Covid-19 Positive, Says 'I Was Certainly Scared'
Drut, who won 1972 110m hurdles silver medal before improving it to gold in 1976, in a column for franceinfo wrote that time has come for Olympics to reinvent themselves. Also Read - Arjun Award Winner TT player V Chandrasekhar Dies Due to Covid-19
“The beautiful project that we built and carried in the bid phase for Paris 2024 is now obsolete, outdated, out of touch with reality. If the project is to remain unchanged, we must review its means and refocus on the essential. The first necessity is to make a budgetary reassessment of what Paris 2024 Olympics will cost,” Drut was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. Also Read - West Bengal Records Over 20,000 Daily Cases, Highest in THESE Districts
He continued, “The Games of yesterday will not be the Games of tomorrow. We have to accept that and together imagine a new model. We have to rethink them to adapt them, to keep them relevant to the changing world. They will not be able to take place at any cost, disconnected from reality, on the ‘margins’ of the world.”
After sustained international pressure from several international athletes and federations alike, the IOC announced postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics from 2020 to 2021.
Drut, a former French sports minister, says the impact of the deadly virus on Olympics won’t be limited to change in schedule alone. “Can the response to this crisis be translated by simply postponing dates, without the Games model — both economic and organisational — also being deeply rethought?” he wrote.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are no exception to this new context. They too must reinvent themselves,” he 69-year-old added.