Olympic Games: Onesta plan to glean more medals in Paris

For weeks, we could feel the pot boiling on the side of the high performance cell and its director Claude Onesta. Present on all fields in Tokyo, the former boss of the French multi-medal handball team, returned from Japan disappointed by the overall performance of French athletes. “We lacked perspective on the level of our athletes because the pandemic had stopped competitions around the world and disrupted training. We hoped to be at least at the level of Rio in 2016 and we are far below “, he observes.

→ ANALYSIS. Tokyo Olympics: for the Blues, the account is not so good

The Blues brought back only 33 medals, against 42 in Rio, and the extraordinary performance of team sports, such as the good results of judo and fencing, did not mask some severe accidents, in athletics and swimming. particularly. These two disciplines are particularly targeted by the plan of attack developed, Tuesday, October 5, by Claude Onesta, in the presence of the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu. They represent a major stake, giving alone more than 250 medals, that is to say nearly a quarter of the rewards distributed during an Olympiad.

Generalization of the high performance unit in federations

These federations and a few others will therefore be the subject of specific support and their management will henceforth be remote-controlled by the ministry and the performance unit headed by Claude Onesta. This violation of the rule of independence of federations is clearly supported by its supervising minister. Which is engaged in the recruitment of a new national technical director for athletics and a performance director, after the defection of the former cyclist Florian Rousseau who threw in the towel after Tokyo.

These two functions – development of mass practice and high-level supervision – today united under the hat of the national technical director, will be systematically duplicated. “This DTN function has become too broad, sometimes those who occupy these positions have never experienced a high level, so each federation must have its own high performance unit, which will work with us”, clarifies Claude Onesta.

Develop the culture of winning

For the former handball player, one of the great problems of French sport is the isolation of athletes with their personal trainer. “75% of athletes are not hosted in state centers, such as Insep and Creps (1). We must send personnel to these structures so that these technicians, often valuable, adhere to the methods allowing their athletes not only to perform well, but also to sublimate themselves on the day of the Olympic final ”, he explains.

→ OUR FILE OG 2024, the Olympic Games in France

This culture of winning, commonplace in Anglo-Saxon or Asian countries, is due to a multitude of details allowing, according to him, an athlete to be relaxed and confident when setting off. “It is not only a question of acting on the psychological level, but of progressing in all the fields, technical, physical, material, which constitute the performance. This is what I call the marginal gains theory, which allows the athlete to be sure that he is going to walk on water on D-Day, because if he does not have the assurance that everything has been done at best, it does not move forward. “

Concretely, the coaches will be better supported, including financially. “We ask guys paid 2,000 to 3,000 € to have an influence on a global competition while being available and sometimes away from home every weekend, it does not work”, he explains. Adding that many renowned French coaches, left to exercise their talents abroad for financial reasons, are being recalled.

Athletes too scattered over the territory

The geographic isolation of athletes also distances them from technical and medical resource centers. Performance houses, sort of regional correspondents for the cell headed by Claude Onesta, will therefore be set up. And the former boss of handball, used to dealing with professional athletes, also relies a lot on the goodwill of team sports clubs, used to managing their players’ problems in a few hours.

Large football and rugby clubs, such as Clermont, have been approached to provide physiotherapists, doctors, and even financial advice. “The first contacts are enthusiastic, because they are happy to help the Olympic movement. This will allow their players to socialize with other athletes and they will be able to communicate about their actions. In fact, everyone wins ”, he continues. Likewise, everyone has an interest in the France team being as efficient as possible in 2024.


Foundation stone for the Arena-Porte de la Chapelle

Anne Hidalgo laid the first stone of the “Arena-Porte de la Chapelle” on Tuesday, October 5, the only construction in Paris ahead of the 2024 Games. The intermediate level sports infrastructure (8,000 places) must accommodate during the Games badminton and rhythmic gymnastics, then para-badminton, para-taekwondo and para-weightlifting competitions. The hall must be delivered in 2023, and outside the Games, host Paris Basketball as a resident club from September 2023. It must also host shows, concerts, conferences, and meet the needs of the inhabitants of the district with the creation of two gymnasiums.



Italian Sonny Colbrelli offers himself a Dantesque Paris-Roubaix

It had to be hell. A Paris-Roubaix as before, with mouths black with mud, vague looks, abandonment in spades and desires to be somewhere else, warm, for the unfortunate people released on this cursed pavement. A Paris-Roubaix like in 2001, at least, the last time the wind, the rain and the cold had invited themselves on the queen of classics, preserved since dantesque weather conditions.

Hell indeed presented itself at the start this Sunday, October 3, at least during the first three hours of the race. Time to do his job, to throw some hopes on the slippery pavement (the Swiss Stefan Kung, the Slovak Peter Sagan), to deflate others with treacherous punctures (the French and local of the stage Florian Sénéchal, Italian Gianni Moscon betrayed, leading 20 km from the finish). Then hell moved under other skies, leaving trail and sodden borders, puddles galore, but a ray of sunshine too, sometimes to warm hearts.

Three novices in the last lap

But it was so much a Paris-Roubaix as before that a novice even offered himself the event, a singularity that had not happened since the French Jean Forestier in 1955, surprise winner of the Paris-Roubaix for his very first participation, fifteen small seconds ahead of Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet. Sixty-six years later, it was the Italian Sonny Colbrelli who put his name on the charts for his first visit to the North.

On the André-Pétrieux velodrome, it was also three discovery runners who came forward to compete in the sprint to victory. Like Sonny Colbrelli, the young Belgian of 22 years Florian Vermeersch and the Dutch star Mathieu Van der Poel had never set the wheels on the difficult roads of Hauts-de-France. The trio however endeavored to avoid all the pitfalls. Sonny Colbrelli as a strong man of a key year for him, already champion of Italy and Europe and rather brilliant on the Tour de France; Florian Vermeersch in the hope of Belgian cycling, riding like an old man since the morning in the good breakaways; and Mathieu Van der Poel, quadruple cyclo-cross world champion and therefore used to chaotic routes.

Mathieu Van der Poel too fair

The ambitious Dutchman, in the main favorites before the start, had perfectly negotiated the race to get rid of his main rivals, including the Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Czech Zdenek Stybar, finally 7e and 26e. But he did not keep enough under the pedal, the impetuous yellow jersey of the first week of the last Tour de France, to break the pawn in the final lap to a Sonny Colbrelli who was satisfied for a long time with his reputation as a sprinter.

At 31, the rider from the province of Brescia (Lombardy) confirms that his profile is increasingly broad and solid. We already knew he was at ease on the classics, we discovered him passing the moguls quite well this year for his fifth Tour de France (52e, his best result), he is now able to transcend himself in the worst conditions. Winning on the pavement is rare, and the Italians know it perfectly well: their last success dates back to 1999 with the solo arrival of Andrea Tafi. For the French, the famine has lasted even longer. Since 1997 exactly. This Sunday, the first tricolor, Christophe Laporte of the Cofidis formation, crossed the line in sixth place.



Champions League: the luxury puzzle of Paris Saint-Germain

“Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, together? I join this collective excitement, I’m like everyone else, I would be crazy not to want to see them play together. Will we see them together tomorrow? Maybe yes “,maliciously launched at a press conference, Tuesday, September 14, the coach of Paris SG to Mauricio Pochettino, on the eve of his team’s entry into contention, Wednesday 15 at 9 p.m., in the Champions League in Bruges.

False suspense: in reality, barring injury or last minute unforeseen events, the magical trio will be on the pitch, if only because football is also about money and image and because the whole world like the Qatari shareholder are waiting for that. Just like the fans of this planetary game, curious to finally see for the first time the trio never gathered on the field. For his first appearance in Ligue 1, Lionel Messi entered during the match to replace Neymar.

There remains a small problem of rich well known to high-level technicians that the Argentinian did not hide: “We are a club that bought a lot of players this summer and signed some very important names, but you have to convert it all into a team, like Chelsea did (European champion, Editor’s note) last year. “A man undoubtedly listened to these words with attention: Didier Deschamps. Confronted during the Euro with this same equation with three famous unknowns, Mbappé, Griezmann, Benzema, he has not succeeded in solving it so far.

The example of Barcelona

To best bring to life what the football world already calls the MNM (Messi Neymar Mpappé), Mauricio Pochettino can rely on a famous precedent, already featuring the M of Messi and the N of Neymar. For nearly three years, the famous MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) made the heyday of Barcelona, ​​scoring 364 goals and distributing 211 decisive. Never seen. The recipe concocted by Luis Enrique, Barca coach, was known to all: Neymar played on the left, Messi on the right, with full latitude for these two players to navigate wherever they saw fit, before serving the third thief Luis Suarez, who was waiting their gifts in the center.

Will this pattern be reproduced against Bruges, Mbappé taking on the role of Luis Suarez this time? This is the whole question asked, the answer to which we will not know until the kick-off, when the three stars will be arranged around the central circle while waiting for the whistle. It doubles as another puzzle because this option will affect the entire workforce. A trio of this stature need to be backed up by a strong midfielder and supplied with balloons by quick and attacking full-backs, who in Paris are less impactful than Barca’s of MSN.

Mbappé does not play like Suarez

The MNM has another major difference with its predecessor. The M is not the S and Mbappé does not have the same game as Suarez at all. He is never better than coming from afar, launched at full speed, most often on the left side of… Neymar. It is hard to see Bondy’s child transforming into a surface fox, waiting for the balloons in the manner of Suarez or Giroud. Will Pochettino be able to convince the Frenchman to bow to a new discipline and to stay ahead wisely? Or on the contrary will he concede the left side (his favorite) by transforming Neymar into a playmaker? This is perhaps the best tactical option, but not necessarily managerial: the soap opera of Mbappé’s false start at Real Madrid and his average end of the season in the French team have undoubtedly tarnished his image within the club.



Olympic Games 2024: the occupants of the Aubervilliers allotment gardens have been evacuated

At around 7:30 a.m., Thursday, September 2, the police proceeded to “The evacuation of plots of Aubervilliers gardens, illegally occupied since April 30”, said the prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis in a press release. Environmental activists occupied these gardens to contest their destruction for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. They should indeed be replaced by an aquatic training site and a station for the future Grand Paris Express, scheduled for 2030.

→ REPORT. “Earthen pot against iron pot”, the gardeners of Aubervilliers rebel

“About fifteen occupants were evicted in peace. Only one individual was taken into custody for contempt and violence against the police “, detailed the prefecture.

The destruction of their makeshift facilities, built over the months, immediately began. The ” repair “ and an “Security” places have started, to allow the site to start, according to the prefecture.

Against the tide of the ecological emergency

These allotment gardens, a century-old enclave of 2.5 hectares at the foot of the towers, must be reduced by nearly 4,000 m2 for the construction of a large terrace adjoining this new aquatic center. The infrastructure, which will be used to train athletes for the Olympics, will then be open to the general public.

In the eyes of opponents, this project is the sign of unreasonable urbanization in the name of the Olympic Games, against the tide of the ecological emergency. “We witness the destruction of the gardens by a shovel completely unarmed, it is an incredible violence. We are surrounded by CRS who take us for terrorists ”, testified in the morning Camille, an environmental activist present on the spot.

“Natural and cultural heritage, an island of freshness, biodiversity refuge, a tool for social links, environmental education … the allotments of Aubervilliers destroyed for a few weeks of the Olympic Games in 2024”, tweeted Julien Bayou, the national secretary of Europe Ecology-The Greens.

Opponents filed an appeal against the building permit for the project on Monday, August 30. At a cost of 33.6 million euros, it is supported by the city of Aubervilliers and notably benefits from around 10 million euros in subsidies from Solideo, the delivery company for Olympic structures.

→ READ. Grand Paris express: the work of the century

At the end of April, Grand Paris Aménagement – owner of the land – assured that it had relocated the gardeners concerned on other neighboring plots in “Favoring dialogue”. Defenders of these gardens called for a demonstration at 6 p.m. in front of the town hall of Aubervilliers.



Paralympic Games: in wheelchair rugby, the Blues are already thinking about Paris 2024

Close to the feat against Japan (51-53) and beaten on the edge (48-50) by the Australians, the reigning Paralympic champions, the French wheelchair rugby team unabashedly rubs shoulders with the world elite. A remarkable improvement as the French finished eighth at the London Games and seventh in Rio in their first two appearances at the Games.

→ REPORT. In Japan, hope sparked by the Paralympic Games

The narrow path to qualifying for the semi-finals of the Paralympic Games will now pass through a victory this Friday, August 27 against Denmark. Everything is still possible“, wants to believe Michel Terrefond, the national sports director, who recalls his roadmap: Twelve years ago, we said to ourselves that we were going to London to see, to Rio to experiment, to Tokyo to win a medal before aiming for gold in Paris in 2024. “

It was following a road accident in 1988 that the manager discovered this discipline. spectacular “, invented in the 1970s in Canada and the United States by American hockey and footballers who became quadriplegic. Wheelchair rugby was inspired by handball, basketball, volleyball, rugby, American football and hockey on the go“, making possible reinforcements like that of Sébastien Verdin, 29, one of the top scorers in the French championship, who abandoned the basketball courts.

Familiar with the summits with a team reinforced by women

With around 200 license holders, this young discipline is developing in France. Since the first team was formed in the mid-2000s, 15 clubs – including five professionals – have formed a wheelchair rugby section.

In Europe, we are the second country in number of clubs after England“, rejoices Michel Terrefond, hoping that during these Games, the media coverage of this sport, which is practiced with a fairly heavy handicap“, will revive the dynamic slowed down by the Covid-19.

In France, the practice of this collective sport, open since its birth to co-education, remains for the most part very masculine. French clubs have less than ten women in their workforce. It is possible that in the future, some of them will apply to the France team ”, foresees Michel Terrefond, who does not rule out the opportunity to bring the best into the French team at the Paris Games in 2024. “But they have to be as efficient as the men. We could put quotas, except that for me, that is not integration. As in business, only skill should count!



Football: Lionel Messi arrived in Paris

The only footballer to be awarded six times the Golden Ball and the European Golden Shoe, Lionel Messi marked the legend of football, but also that of his club, FC Barcelona, ​​in which he played for almost twenty-one year.

The superstar landed Tuesday, August 10 afternoon, around 3:30 p.m., at Le Bourget airport, where the Argentinian, dressed in a t-shirt “Here is Paris”, greeted the hundreds of supporters who cheered him on.

→ ANALYSIS. Lionel Messi, a star at all costs for Paris

Paris Saint-Germain celebrated his arrival with a 13-second video full of references to the striker’s career, such as his six Ballons d’Or and the Argentinian flag, placed between the shirts of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.

→ READ. Football: superstar Lionel Messi leaves Barca

In statements to several local media outlets at Barcelona-El Prat Airport, his father and advisor, Jorge Messi, responded with a ” Yes “ laconic to a journalist who asked him if his son was going to engage with PSG.

Highly anticipated

At the Parc des Princes, employees cleaned and set up the red carpet for the stadium’s VIP entrance.

The players in Ligue 1, too, shared their enthusiasm during the weekend as to the probable arrival of the six-fold Golden Ball.

Since the brutal announcement, Thursday, August 5, of the departure of Messi from his club, Barça, PSG appears to be the most likely destination for the Argentine. ” It’s a possibility “, had confirmed Sunday, August 8, the striker, when bidding farewell to the Blaugrana club. “Honestly, I got a lot of calls from a lot of clubs when the release (of his departure) appeared. At this moment, there is nothing done ”, he continued. This Tuesday, football fans now know that the transfer is indeed official.

The French press mentions PSG’s proposal for a contract of at least two years, with a net annual salary of around 40 million euros. Figures that would place Messi at the level of Neymar (36 million euros), the highest paid footballer in France.



Lionel Messi, a star at all costs for Paris

Frantically awaited by Parisian supporters, Lionel Messi has agreed to tie his fate to Paris Saint-Germain. The two parties found common ground on Tuesday August 10 around a dizzying two-year contract (plus an optional third year), estimated at 40 million euros per year, with a signing bonus. ‘at least 30 million euros. Stratospheric figures, “Equivalent to the median annual budget of Ligue 1 clubs”, compares the economist Luc Arrondel, researcher at the CNRS.

→ EXPLANATION. Football, the battle for release clauses

The arrival of the six-fold Golden Ball in Paris, however, comes in a context of recession for world football, forcing almost all clubs to reduce their lifestyle and to absorb the debts accumulated because of the Covid epidemic. . At the wrong time, PSG offered themselves a lavish recruitment campaign this summer, welcoming in turn the Spanish defender Sergio Ramos (ex-Real Madrid), the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (ex-AC Milan), the Moroccan Achraf Hakimi ( ex-Inter Milan) (1) and Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (ex-Liverpool), which increased the payroll of the Ile-de-France club.

Insatiable, Leonardo, the sporting director, does not intend to stop there. Once the recruitment of Messi is acquired, he will put all his strength to renew the contract of Kylian Mbappé, courted by Real Madrid, and welcome by the end of August the very young international Eduardo Camavinga (18 years old, Rennes).

The club is betting on organic growth in turnover

The question of financing these operations inevitably arises. But for the wealthy Qatari owner – Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) -, who paid off the losses linked to the Covid-19 pandemic – 125 million euros for the 2019-20 season alone – the arrival of Lionel Messi was a bargain not to be missed. Especially since, unlike Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, bought for more than 400 million euros in 2017, PSG will not pay any transfer compensation this time, which has, according to Luc Arrondel, “Greatly facilitated this recruitment”.

Paris Saint-Germain took advantage of the temporary relaxation of financial fair play rules established by UEFA, which prohibits European clubs from spending more than they earn, to afford the king of the planet football , without having to get rid of his best players. With Neymar, Angel Di Maria, and Kylian Mbappé, he will compose a fire attack, a magic square unique in the world. “This is the main interest, continues the economist. BecauseParis Saint-Germain are looking at all costs to win the Champions League, which has eluded them since the acquisition of the club by QSI ”.

Beyond the obvious sporting added value of the top scorer in Barça history (672 goals in all competitions), marketing issues counted. By getting their hands on Messi, a global brand followed by 245 million fans on Instagram, PSG is taking care of its imageand is still getting closer to the most influential clubs such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Manchester City.

Economically, leaders also expect short-term payoffs. ” If we compare this arrival to Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus in 2018, we can indeed think so, Luc Arrondel advances. The 117 million euros invested in the Portuguese striker were quickly amortized: on the stock market, the action had then jumped by 40%, the sponsorship contracts with Jeep and Adidas had been renegotiated upwards, the supporters of the club had surged on social networks, ticket sales had increased. And Juve entered the top 5 clubs that sell the most shirts in the world. “

Unexpected added value for Ligue 1

The arrival of the superstar promises to be just as profitable for Ligue 1, put to the test, between the downward renegotiation of TV rights after the disengagement of the audiovisual group Mediapro and the absence of the public in the stadiums, leading to a unprecedented drop in professional club revenues.

→ ANALYSIS. Break between Mediapro and the League, French football forced to reinvent itself

With Messi at the head of the gondola, the National Football League has a golden opportunity to open up to new markets and to reassess its broadcasting rights abroad, which to date earn it 80 million euros per year. . ” Compared to its neighbors, such as England which generates more than 1 billion euros internationally, France is a little behind. This arrival can be interesting for the whole economy of French football ”, concludes Luc Arrondel.


In Europe, a slow-moving transfer market

The Covid-19 has forced European football on a dry run. In the big five leagues, the obligation to sell players before strengthening has been imposed on most clubs. In Ligue 1, except Nice, Monaco, Marseille or Paris, all the teams have reduced the sails.

The financial situation of strongholds of French football such as Saint-Étienne, Lille, Nantes or Bordeaux – which has just been saved by the sulphurous buyer Gérard Lopez – remains worrying. It is only in England, where the market seems to have woken up in recent days, with the arrival of Jack Grealish in Manchester City for 117 million euros – a record across the Channel – and the return to Chelsea of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.



Olympic Games: goodbye Tokyo, hello Paris 2024!

On the Japanese night, the closing was nostalgic, Sunday August 8, with the handover ceremony between two women, the governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo – a first in Olympic history.

It was festive 9,800 km to the west, at the beginning of the afternoon in Paris, with this famous banner of half a hectare deployed on the Eiffel Tower shivering as the patrouille de France passed. Quite a symbol, which will find its practical variation Monday 9, around 2 p.m. at Roissy, when the door of the plane bringing back Anne Hidalgo and the flag will open.

A new story will then begin, 1,082 days before the lighting of a new cauldron in the French capital, on July 26, 2024. It has been written line after line since September 13, 2017, the day of the attribution of the thirtieth Games , one hundred years after the seventh also organized in Paris in 1924.

Since then, the main people responsible for the file, the president of the organizing committee Tony Estanguet, Anne Hidalgo and Jean Castex, government coordinator of Paris 2024 before being appointed to Matignon, have crumpled up a lot of drafts. Under the sponsorship of Emmanuel Macron who collected the Olympic laurels planted by his predecessor François Hollande.

Opening ceremony on the banks of the Seine

Present in Tokyo during the first two days of the Games, the Head of State has eaten the secrecy instructions on one of the most anticipated files of Paris-2024, the site of the opening ceremony which will not take place at Stade de France for a few tens of thousands of privileged ticket holders, but in the heart of the city, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

The place is not stopped ”, assured Tony Estanguet to The cross, in a declaration intended to spare the susceptibility of the Olympic authorities, who will have to validate the project in December 2021. But the decision is taken; Anne Hidalgo has also reconfirmed Sunday 8 in The team.

→ ANALYSIS. Tokyo Olympics: for the Blues, the account is not so good

Once the flame is lit, all eyes will be on … the Concorde, where some of the most anticipated competitions of the 32 disciplines on the program will be held: skateboarding, 3 × 3 basketball, integrated in Tokyo and maintained in Paris, but also breaking, a new sport resulting from urban culture, which will make its entry into the Parisian program. These disciplines are supposed to bring young people back to a ring party that they had neglected for the past two decades.

“It’s strategic for the future. The younger generations want to see sports that are like them, with short and spectacular competitions that they can follow on their smartphone. The IOC understood this well and Paris 2024 too ”, underlines Kevin Bernardi, owner of the Sport & Society site, at the forefront of the sociology of sport.

Equipment for Seine Saint-Denis

Celebrated in Tokyo, the marriage of tradition and modernity will therefore be confirmed in Paris. “The magic of the Games is based on this diversity of events and these sports bring something new”, Tony Estanguet told us in Tokyo, just after visiting the climbing site, a sport which, in 2024, will not be presented at Concorde but at Le Bourget. In fact, the Paris Games will not only be those of the beautiful neighborhoods and historic sites of the City of Light or its region.

Their hearts will beat widely in Seine-Saint-Denis. In addition to the climbing wall, the “93” will host two of the main facilities designed for the Games, which will remain there as a legacy: the Olympic village and the Aubervilliers swimming pool (the department did not have a 50 m Olympic pool).

→ READ. Seine-Saint-Denis still hopes to benefit from the 2024 Olympics

The Arena, a new hall built at Porte de la Chapelle, will link the popular north of Paris so far without large sports (and show) venues and Seine-Saint-Denis. “On the construction side, that’s about all”, explains Tony Estanguet, satisfied that this architectural moderation serves a 2024 carbon footprint more favorable than that of Tokyo or the previous Games.

If Anne Hidalgo adheres to this ecological objective, she also underlines the benefits of the Games for employment. “Thousands of workers have already worked on the sites, they will be nearly 10,000 in the fall, 150,000 direct jobs will be mobilized for the organization of the Games in tourism, catering and security”, underlines the elected.

Paris 2024 twice cheaper than Tokyo

On the budgetary level, Paris is doomed to do better than London, Rio or Tokyo. It will not be difficult, because the 13 billion euros from Tokyo, increased by 2 billion additional costs linked to the pandemic, have appeared as a scarecrow with the Court of Auditors, which has again tightened the screws of Paris 2024. The Organizing Committee’s financiers were recently summoned to find an additional 400 million euros, which has led to a new version of the site map – which, this time, seems final.

Unless a new tile is still possible in terms of health or safety, Paris 2024 should remain in an envelope twice as light as Tokyo. We are counting on 7.3 billion euros, of which 3.4 billion (1) invested in long-lasting equipment such as the swimming pool, or the Olympic village recycled into housing after 2024.

The other part, 3.9 billion euros of private operating budget, comes from TV rights, ticketing, an endowment from the IOC. And sponsors, more and more numerous to come to the counter as the deadline approaches, history, as for Decathlon (last partner to date to be committed), to participate in the celebration.

“We saw it clearly in Tokyo, despite the pandemic, the risks linked to the postponement, the unpopularity at the beginning, the Games are ending well, as always or almost, concludes Tony Estanguet, we will still have problems, but what matters is partying and sport, our legacy will be to leave France a little sportier and it needs it. “

First small step from the start of the September 2021 school year, with the gradual entry into force, under the impetus of Paris 2024, of thirty minutes of compulsory physical exercise in primary schools to fight against children’s sedentary lifestyle.



Olympics: in Tokyo, Paris 2024 in sight for the French

For months, the officials of the French Olympic delegation have been counting the medals they hope to collect on August 9, when the Tokyo flame goes out. The calculator was heated until the last moment, while the number of benchmark competitions, organized in recent months, was reduced due to the health crisis.

→ ANALYSIS. Tokyo 2021 Olympics: for athletes, Olympics without joy

Certain French sure values, like the rider Thibaut Vallette, covered with gold in eventing in Rio, were eliminated by injury. Others returned at the last moment, like the tennis player Pierre-Hugues Herbert, injured and finally from the trip. Without counting the ankle of the double medalist Renaud Lavillenie which gives many worries to the medical staff.

“It’s difficult to set a precise goal”, declares the former skier Michel Vion, head of delegation until last week, before cavalierly surrendering his apron to put on that of secretary general of the International Ski Federation. His successor André-Pierre Goubert drew an unofficial line which is around 40 medals, much like in Rio and London. This would place France around seventh place among the Olympic nations, a rank that has been virtually unchanged for twenty years, with the exception of Beijing’s poor performance (tenth).

“Aim for a better world rank”

This honorable harvest could be even richer depending on the color of the ears contained in the basket. France has always been well medalist, but lacks titles. She only won ten in 2016, and only the number of titles is taken into account in the medal table. “There is only one Olympic champion and this is the one we remember”, says Claude Onesta, former coach of the French handball team, whose two titles in 2008 and 2012 are remembered when the 2016 money is forgotten.

→ READ. Tokyo 2021: Olympic Games at all costs

Today boss of performance at the National Sports Agency (an organization created two years ago to reshape high-level French sport with a view to 2024), Claude Onesta has started his tour of the stadiums and training halls of Tokyo, in search of the medal winner in 2024. “It would be an insult to the athletes and coaches who have worked like crazy for five years to be on top during these Games to consider them as a simple transition,” he said. But my job is to measure what is called the Olympic trajectory, ie the ability of the athletes present in Tokyo to be medalists in 2024. “

For Paris, the goal of 80 medals, twice the usual quota, set in 2018 by the short-lived sports minister Laura Flessel is now swept away. “Rather than advancing on a specific number of medals, I think it is rational to aim for a better world rank. Fifth place is accessible on condition of collecting more gold. The goal of 40 medals in Tokyo is just a starting point ”, continues Claude Onesta who will closely follow the results of the Blues, well beyond the simple podiums. Everything will count: resistance to the pressure of a big event, the possible room for improvement, age, personal project, etc. The gold medal of a future retiree counts less in his eyes than the fourth place of a young hopeful.

Coaches financially interested in the results

Her agency has drawn a so-called performance circle, in which she has included 404 high-potential athletes for Paris, many of whom will be in Tokyo. She particularly supervises the disciplines distributing a lot of medals. ” We will obviously not neglect any medal-winning discipline such as handball, but this sport only awards six medals, three for boys and three for girls, that’s not a lot ”, he argues.

→ BENCHMARKS. At the Tokyo Olympics, more urban and feminine disciplines

In his viewfinder, swimming which reigns with judo on the medal counter during the first week of the Games (105 for swimming and 45 for judo). And athletics which dominated the second week from the top of its 144 podiums at stake. Even fencing (36 medals) which has long since ceased to be the heyday of French Olympism. “Things will have to change, and quickly”, explains Claude Onesta, who will spend the fortnight scrutinizing the performances of the athletes but also of their coaches, for the first time financially interested in the results.



Football: PSG finally touches the Grail with its women’s section

PSG champion this year, and rather twice? It’s done for PSG handball, ogre devouring a seventh consecutive coronation after his victory at Cesson-Rennes (34-28) Wednesday, June 2. This is expected on a football field for the women’s PSG which should logically end its brilliant season with a success against Dijon this Friday, June 4 at the Jean Bouin stadium, synonymous with the first title for the girls of the capital. They would thus put an end to the reign of Olympique Lyonnais (OL), unwavering for fourteen years.

The finding is probably only half smile Leonardo, the sporting director of these gentlemen, who remained docked this year. But the Brazilian still savored the work accomplished after the draw in Lyon (0-0) confirming Parisian ambitions on May 30: “When I first arrived at the club in 2011, we were just starting out with women’s football, we were looking for it. When I returned to 2019, all that was missing was the last step, especially psychological, that the team took this year ”.

The end of a complex

Yes, the women’s PSG has turned a corner, by burying its complex against the Lyon juggernaut. In November 2020, the Parisiennes inflicted on OL their first defeat in the league since 2016 (1-0). Better: they drew on their reserve to turn things around and get Lyon out of the Champions League, in the quarter-finals, by winning among the holders of the continental title (2-1, 0-1 in the first leg), April 18. Finally, the realization of a rise in power. And good news for women’s football?

→ ANALYSIS. The growth crisis in women’s football

Obviously, the sporting uncertainty, Lyon finally marking time, is a “plus” for a championship that is too predictable. But the PSG is only picking up the stake renewed for a few years, its budget turning like that of Lyon around 7 million euros.

“On their own, they represented for the 2018-2019 season more than 60% of the total budgets of the 12 clubs in Division 1, underlines Richard Duhautois, co-author last year of a book on the economics of women’s football (1). Suddenly, Lyon and Paris dominate their business. But for the rest, women’s football still lacks resources. So of course, we can see if we take the Ile-de-France clubs for example, that the women’s sections have greatly multiplied, and that most of the leaders show a real desire for development. But the Women’s World Cup organized in 2019 in France did not cause the hoped-for boom. “

Women’s football still on a drip

The start of the 2019-2020 season did not translate into a rush in the stands. At the end of 2019, before the Covid-19 empties the stadiums, the PSG posted an average of 1,462 spectators, very modest for the capital. “With a very limited audience, nothing is done either to offer services inside the stadiums, sources of income. Most of the women’s sections are in fact in debt and only keep the men’s clubs to which they belong on a drip., notes Richard Duhautois. This is the case in France, but also in most foreign championships, as a recent study by the International Football Federation shows.

→ PORTRAIT. Eugenie Le Sommer, the essential goalscorer

PSG embodies this reality. Qatari owners should finally make their investment profitable from a sporting standpoint. In the spring of 2020, it was the intervention of Leonardo in person – temporarily sporting director of the women – who, by taking out the wallet, made it possible to catch up in extremis with striker Kadidiatou Diani, tracked by Lyon. Good inspiration: the 26-year-old international has just been named the best player of the season. Parisian leaders already know that they are preparing for a delicate transfer window this summer. Their captain, Irene Paredes, is announced in Barcelona; their formidable guardian, the Chilean Christiane Endler, in Lyon.

The de facto PSG comes at the end of a cycle. His trainer Olivier Echouafni is completing his contract, and should give way to Gérard Prêcheur, 61, former Lyonnaises strategist (from 2014 to 2017). Former goalkeeper Ulrich Ramé must arrive from Bordeaux to resume the post of sports director of the women’s section. “It will be difficult, but we want to maintain the level and we will put the means for that”, swears Leonardo.

→ ANALYSIS. Women’s sport at the point of collective agreements

They will have to be. Because the French clubs are more and more confronted with foreign competition. “England, Italy and Spain are professionalizing rapidly, and now offer very attractive salaries. French women’s football must be vigilant not to be overtaken ”, Richard Duhautois alert. PSG is warned. For the probable new king among queens, the hard part begins.


70% of clubs in deficit

The development of women’s football? A matter of time, if we are to believe the latest report on the subject just published by the International Football Federation (Fifa). Carried out with the clubs of the 30 main championships in the discipline, it notes that 72% of clubs have academies to provide training for young people. A good point for the future.

But for the present, the lack of means is still glaring: 70% of clubs are in deficit, and for the most part only hold on to being backed by a male club (this is the case for 66% of them) . In the championships of the major European nations (Germany, England, Spain, France and Italy), the average stadium attendance does not reach 1,000 spectators.