Interview with MJ Pérec
In charge of the relations with participating countries within the Paris 2020 Organising Committee, the French three times Olympic Champion looks forward to this event with motivation and ambition.
“What is your role within Organising Committee of the 2020 European Athletics Championships?
I am more than a flag bearer for France abroad. In a way, I give my endorsement and my support to the Organising Committee. Concretely, I will be in constant contact with the heads of delegations, the athletes, to support them, to reassure them in order to make their life easier. I will work to guarantee them the best conditions so that they will experience Paris 2020 in the best way possible. I want to have a central role and share my experience on several aspects of the event, including sports and services to the athletes obviously, but also the accompanying actions, the relations with partners and the welcoming of our guests. I will serve the event and the legacy it will leave. Being part of this adventure makes me very enthusiastic and I would like to thank André Giraud for his trust.
You are also the head of the Paris 2020 Support Committee? Can you tell us more?
As part of my missions, I wanted to set up a Support Committee to work alongside me and promote the event throughout the national territory but also throughout Europe. We are working on it, it is the priority of the moment. This Support Committee will be composed of members with different backgrounds who will bring their expertise and share their experiences. For example, I want to put together a team of athletes who will go on the field, in the clubs, to spread the word. I am also thinking about bringing together people who do not belong to the athletics family and who will help us reach young people, particularly on social networks. We want these European Championships to be different and this Support Committee meets this objective.
What are precisely the objectives of the Paris 2020 Organising Committee?
We want Paris 2020 to be a popular and festive event, a celebration of athletics, with our clubs at the heart of it! It is also a unique opportunity for the French Athletics Federation (FFA) to inspire as many people as possible, to create vocations in order to give birth to the next generation of athletes, volunteers and professionals in the sports sector. Take the example of the half-marathon: part of the course will be opened to everyone. What other sport, apart from athletics, can offer the public the opportunity of running with the best European athletes? Same with the village in Paris, where the medal ceremonies will take place. It also responds to this desire of bringing athletics outside the stadium to reach out people, children and adults alike. The athletes will share their happiness with the public, who will be able to enjoy animations and sporting activities, it will be magic!”