“As close to the field as possible, mayors best meet their population’s expectations.”
David Lazarus, Head of Olympic Games Preparation, AMF
Three questions for David Lazarus, Mayor of Chambly, Head of Olympic Games Preparation, AMF (Association des Maires de France)
1. This is the first time that an Olympic Games Organising Committee has associated cities and local authorities so closely with the Games. Beyond the moment of the Games, what does Label Terre de Jeux bring to cities in the long-term and what kind of legacy do you anticipate from this initiative?
The label makes it possible to promote the commitment of any municipality, no matter the size to the organisation of events which echo national or international events; it allows citizens to take ownership of events and foster a sense of national belonging.
It was therefore important for the AMF, representing all the municipalities in France, to obtain the Terre de Jeux label in order to encourage the involvement of its members.
As an example, I refer to the work carried out by the city of Ile Saint-Denis which, beginning in 2025, will transform the Olympic village into housing in order to promote social diversity.
2. As you are in charge of the Olympic Games at the AMF, you are well aware of the paramount importance of the cities in the territorial network as well as in the promotion of sport and physical activity. What are Cities’ strengths regarding sport and what do they bring to Paris 2024?
In France, local authorities finance regional sports facilities and support clubs through subsidies, provide services, organise sports events, etc. The commitment of the mayors, working as closely as possible with their citizens, allows the population to make a personal connection with major international events. Sport practice by citizens, from an early age, promotes the emergence of future champions whose results and performances contribute to the feeling of national cohesion and citizenship. The collaboration that the AMF has begun with Paris 2024 needs to be closely pursued so that the attention paid to the regions remains a pledge for the success of the Games and its legacy.
3. How can a city act as a role-model? (being exemplary, implementing good practices, educating, being inspiring to other cities and to cities’ own citizens?)
As close to the field as possible, mayors best meet their population’s expectations. They pay a great deal of attention to their well-being and health. The AMF helps by disseminating innovative regional initiatives that can be adapted to AMF members across the country. Thus, the creation of a “National Network of Healthy Sport Cities Under Prescription” by about sixty cities was the driving force behind the creation of the national health and sport strategy.
To learn more about the Terre de Jeux 2024 label
2020 Smart Cities & Sport Publication