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French Ambassador to Cuba meets with sports journalists

Havana, Jul 2 (Prensa Latina) The French ambassador to Cuba, Laurent Burin des Roziers, presented today at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism details of the preparations being made in Paris in view of the approaching Olympic Games.

The meeting took place within the framework of the seminar on press preparation for the summer event, which is traditionally given by the Circle of Sports Journalists of Cuba prior to the athletic events.

The diplomat described this event, in which about 15 000 athletes will participate and will be attended by more than 9 000 journalists and about 20 000 not accredited by the International Olympic Committee, as an unprecedented magnitude.

Nearly one and a half million spectators will be able to watch the competitions live and more than four billion will follow them around the world, which is why France needed an unprecedented special preparation in different sectors to be able to host this event, Burin des Roziers declared.

There are approximately 40 Olympic and 20 Paralympic venues to which we had to guarantee transport services for a period of 29 days.

That is to say, to move some 500,000 more people on public transport around Paris, he added.

To cope with this event, the French state has mobilized strongly in advance both to increase the supply of transport and to regulate demand through information and communication campaigns.

According to data offered by the main official representative of the French government in the largest Caribbean island, in terms of security, 35 000 law enforcement officers will be mobilized during the games and some 45 000 during the opening ceremony alone.

He also stressed that his country will make the greatest possible effort in this exceptional opportunity to offer the world, and first of all the athletes and tourists, the best possible image.

We have to guarantee to the French themselves a positive and lasting legacy, said the diplomat after assuring that the games will be the most decentralized in history and his government distributed 450,000 free tickets for young schoolchildren, public officials and volunteers.

They will also be the most environmentally friendly of those held so far as they will be governed by the Paris climate agreements and the carbon emission trail will be reduced by half compared to previous editions, he added.

Burin des Roziers addressed in his presentation the claim of his country to change the way of seeing disability and the life of people in that situation in his country and stated that several million euros were spent to ensure universal accessibility services to public transport, stores and stadiums.

The games should leave a unique material and immaterial legacy, sport will be placed at the center of French people’s lives and a new generation of sportsmen and women will be encouraged, he stressed.