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Olympic Games 2024: Côtes-d’Armor do not want the Olympic flame – Teller Report

“I was very seduced at the beginning, I had lots of ideas, full of desire, full of enthusiasm”. When he takes office in July, Ludovic Gouyette has “eyes that shine”. The Côtes-d’Armor could see the Olympic flame pass in 2024. “It was a beautiful symbol for us. But a symbol that comes at a high price. Quite quickly, the vice-president of the Department in charge of youth and sports became disillusioned.

More than half of the annual budget

If the Cojo (Organizing Committee of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games) and its partners undertake to finance a large part of the relay, €150,000 excluding tax remains payable by the Departments. That is €180,000 including tax, excluding additional costs (security, entertainment). A sum “over which we have no regard”. And a “very high” cost, too high for the Côtes-d’Armor, who prefer to sit on the sidelines.

€180,000 is half of the envelope allocated to the vice-president, who has €350,000 per year. “Either I continued to support demonstrations which have animated the territory for several years, or I amputated their budget. ” The choice is quickly made.

If it is for the flame to cross the Côtes-d’Armor in a car, by the departmental road…

Especially since of the hundred terminals covered by the flame in Costa Rican lands, only 10 to 15 km will be done in the open air, the rest being done by car. And that the choice of route is up to the Olympic Committee alone. “We are not decision-makers, regrets Ludovic Gouyette. I imagined an arrival on the maritime side, a stopover via Guerlédan, a former Olympic base… But if it is for the flame to cross the Côtes-d’Armor in a car, by the departmental…” Ditto for the day of the passage, decided from Paris. “Let’s imagine that it falls on a Tuesday. Which school will close, who will stop working? »

Experience the Games differently

Except for the stopover town, the vice-president of sports admits to being skeptical about the tourist benefits. Far from the Tour which had exploded reservations, the flame should not attract crowds. “We would have touched the Costa Ricans, but I’m not sure that outsiders would have made the trip. »

Bringing the Olympic spirit to life, not just through a flame which has an exorbitant cost, but through concrete action vis-à-vis the usual partners and the local population.

No question, however, of not keeping the Olympic spirit alive. Thanks to a new budget called “Terre de Jeux 2024”, amounting to €30,000 in 2022 and increasing each year, Côtes-d’Armor will be able to live to the rhythm of the event, “not just by a flame at exorbitant cost, but concretely vis-à-vis the usual partners and the local population”. On the program: the reception of the French volleyball team, Olympic champion, in 2023. That of the women, in 2022, or foreign delegations for their training. On Monday, the vice-president also met with the departmental basketball committee to develop the practice of 3×3, an Olympic discipline in the territory since the last games.

The Costa Rican exception

Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan have, for their part, come out in favor of hosting the flame. For the latter, it is a “yes” in principle while waiting to learn more about the terms of the transition, the stages and possible activities for which the Department has requested details from the Cojo. Finistère went even further, proposing that the flame start from the end of the Earth.

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