Paris Olympics will be ‘revolutionary,’ French ambassador says

French Ambassador to Korea Philippe Bertoux speaks of South Korea-France relations during an interview with The Korea Times at the ambassador's residence in Seoul, March 13. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk

The upcoming 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris will be “truly revolutionary,” French Ambassador to Korea Philippe Bertoux said, expressing his nation’s pride in hosting the global sporting event set to kick off on July 26.”France is striving to make this Olympics truly revolutionary, inclusive and environmentally friendly. One notable aspect is that the opening ceremony will not be held in a stadium, for the first time.” Bertoux said during an interview with The Korea Times at the ambassador’s residence in Seoul on March 13.

“Instead, it will take place outdoors, centered around the Seine River. It will be a spectacle showcasing Paris’s major landmarks,” he said. “By the time of the Olympics, landmarks like Notre Dame will have reopened to the public, allowing tens of thousands of fans from around the world to enjoy the view.”Everyone in France is either directly or indirectly involved in, interested in or mobilized in some way in the preparations for the Olympics, Bertoux said.”When we talk about France, it’s not just about the Paris Olympics because while many events will be held in Paris, some will take place in other cities and even outside the continent, in overseas territories,” he said.”So far, all preparations, including the opening of the athletes’ village, are proceeding properly on schedule, without exceeding the budget.”

He added, France is fully prepared to welcome South Korean athletes and looks forward to the cultural exchanges in the road ahead.”South Korea’s athletes are planning to set up their base camp in Fontainebleau, a beautiful town near Paris,” the ambassador said. “Fontainebleau is famous for its picturesque surroundings.””Fontainebleau is preparing to welcome the South Korean athletes and this Olympics serve as an opportunity for cultural exchange between South Korea and various French municipalities.”Acknowledging South Korea’s impressive achievements in sports, he expressed hope that the two nations could achieve notable outcomes together at the Olympics.”Naturally, I hope for a meeting at the top ranks between France and South Korea,” he said. “South Korea is known for its remarkable achievements in sports, not only in Taekwondo but also in various other disciplines like archery.”

Bertoux underscored the remarkable strides achieved in bilateral relations between South Korea and France in 2023, pointing out several noteworthy developments. Among these, he highlighted President Yoon Suk Yeol’s two visits to France, which featured summit meetings aimed at bolstering cooperation between the two nations.”We have seen remarkable progress in both qualitative and quantitative terms in our relationship with South Korea,” Bertoux said. “President Yoon’s visits underscore the commitment of both countries to deepen cooperation across various sectors.”Summits held in June and November facilitated discussions on a wide range of topics, including economic, cultural and personnel exchanges. Notably, both presidents addressed pressing global issues such as climate change, decarbonization and forest conservation, emphasizing the importance of cooperation between advanced nations.Economic ties between South Korea and France have flourished, with bilateral trade reaching a record level of 16 billion euros ($17.3 billion) last year.

“We are committed to further accelerating this positive trend, particularly focused on key areas such as space, semiconductors, batteries, civil nuclear power, quantum technology and energy transition,” he said.The French ambassador highlighted ongoing efforts to bolster cooperation in education and technology, noting that French startups are showing interest in the South Korean market and vice versa.He said there’s a growing interest in South Korean culture among the French public, particularly among the youth, thanks to the rise in popularity of K-pop and K-dramas.He added that both countries are also exploring opportunities in the gaming and animation industries, as well as webtoons, where France has shown significant interest.Regarding the issue of North Korea, Bertoux reaffirmed France’s solidarity with South Korea against the threats posed by the North’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and cyber programs. France condemns North Korea’s provocations and actively engages in international efforts to 스포츠토토존 address proliferation and human rights concerns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *