Paris 2024

French athletes at peak performance

Publié 21/03/2024|Modifié 04/03/2024

In recent years, with the prospect of the Summer Games finally returning to France, French sport has begun its transformation.

“I absolutely believe that one day France can become a top-5 Olympic and Paralympic nation for the long term.”

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

  • Address to Tokyo 2021 medal winners, 13 September 2021
In order to achieve the ambitious objective set by the President to make our nation a long-term top-5 Olympic and Paralympic competitor, France made a decisive choice to upgrade and overhaul the national framework for sports and physical education and to allocate unprecedented resources to the sector.

Unprecedented mobilisation of resources

Over the past few years, the French government has substantially boosted the resources mobilised to support all stakeholders involved in the elite performance chain: athletes, their coaching and support teams and the wider network of athletic federations. Between 2016 and 2024, the budget mobilised by the French government increased by 68%, rising to €114 million in 2024.
This unprecedented increase enabled federations, for example, to enhance their preparation programmes and expand their coaching teams — trainers, medical and paramedical staff, etc.
With regard to elite Paralympic performance more specifically, there has been an even more substantial boost in resources in recent years: an overall rise of 250% between 2017 and 2023. This strategy has already begun to bear fruit: France won 55 Paralympic medals at Tokyo 2021, compared to 28 in Rio in 2016.

On an exceptional basis, the amount of prize money awarded to medal winners will be increased for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Gold medal winners will receive €80,000 (up from €65,000 in Tokyo), while silver medal winners will receive €40,000 (up from €25,000 in Tokyo) and bronze medal winners will get €20,000 (up from €15,000 in Tokyo). For each medal obtained, the technical coaching staff will share 100% of the sum awarded for the medal.

A new approach to high performance: “Blue Ambition”

Launched in July 2020 by France’s National Agency for Sport, the “Blue Ambition” (Ambition Bleue) programme helps guide and support athletes toward success, providing them with optimum preparation conditions.
This programme is built around the four pillars listed below:

The “Performance Unit”, which currently assists 653 summer and winter competitors, offers personalised support for the most promising athletes and their coaches.
For example, athletes benefit from a minimum annual salary of €40,000. Coaches, meanwhile, benefit from improved pay conditions and dedicated training times via the “Coaching Plan” (Plan Coach).

Delivering personalised support services, the “Blue Ambition” plan ensures that athletes remain the central focus in the organisation of elite performance training. For example, the programme gives athletes greater freedom of choice in where they train, offering them the possibility of using a hybrid training model split between a permanent federal structure and a club or structure based abroad.
To this end, the “Ambition Blue Team” (Team Ambition Bleue) is a federation of around twenty professional collective sports clubs that have volunteered to put their sporting and medical expertise to work for our athletes and coaches.

Created in 2021 and staffed by 80 agents, the 17 Regional Performance Centres (Maisons Régionales de la Performance) will provide local support and monitoring for athletes.
These facilities provide athletes with access to all the tools they need to progress on the international stage, within easy reach of their normal training location.

Preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics have enabled considerable progress in the application of data to improve athletic performance.
It was for this purpose that the Sport Data Hub, a platform of tools enabling athletes, coaches and federations to optimise their performance levels through data collection and analysis, was created in 2020.

It was also to this end that the Priority Research Programme for “Elite Sporting Performance” was launched in 2019, with €20 million in funding.

The National Sports Agency

France’s National Sports Agency (Agence nationale du sport, or ANS) is a public interest group created through a partnership model between the government, the sporting world, local and regional councils and economic stakeholders. Its primary missions are to boost athletic performance levels and to contribute to the development of physical education and sport for all.

Maximising the home advantage: “Winning in France”

Supplementing the “Blue Ambition” programme and its long-term goals, “Winning in France” (Gagner en France) aims to activate all possible performance levers in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The goal is to make full use of the home advantage so that France finishes among the top 5 Olympic nations and top 8 Paralympic nations in 2024.
This strategy is built around two key pillars:

Substantial resources have been deployed in order to provide athletes with optimised training and living environments, both prior to and during the Games.
To enable athletes to familiarise themselves with the equipment used in the events, identical equipment will be provided at their final training and preparation facilities.

During the Games, various sites will be dedicated to athlete training and recovery: the INSEP facilities will be reserved exclusively for the use of the French team, and recovery stations will be accessible close to all competition sites. Particular care has also been taken in setting up the Olympic and Paralympic village, in order to provide athletes with optimal accommodation conditions.

In 2024, the 560 Olympic athletes and 242 Paralympic athletes will form a single, unified team, represented by the same emblems and slogan, with a sense of team spirit forged through dedicated team-building sessions and shared experiences, including special evening and week-end events for Les Bleus.
To ensure they benefit from the support and encouragement of their friends and family, each athlete will receive at least 4 tickets per competition session. More broadly, the entire nation of France will be out to support its team, with boxes for French supporters during the events and the Club France spectators’ area set up at La Villette.

The Performance Centre

During the Games, the Marcel Cachin high school in Saint-Ouen (located right next to the athletes’ village) will become a dedicated facility for the French delegation. Here, athletes will have access to a range of services complementing those available in the athletes’ village: training areas, recovery spaces, a medical centre and debriefing rooms.

Global support for athletes

A comprehensive support system has been set up for athletes in order to enable them to focus fully on their performance goals.

French athletes will benefit from various employment aid schemes, including career conversion programmes enabling them to transition into public and private sector roles.

In addition, personal grants may be awarded by the ANS in order to guarantee a minimum level of financial resources. Various tools will also be employed in order to support and guide athletes through the career conversion process.

Measures for combatting sexist and sexual violence in elite sports have been bolstered, notably via the development and promotion of the Signal-Sports platform.

Preventative initiatives and reporting procedures are also being deployed in order to support athletes regarding harassment and anti-doping measures.

Athletes will benefit from enhanced maternity/paternity support, notably via the creation of dedicated financial aid schemes.
Awareness initiatives and personalised support measures are also being deployed and will be boosted during the Games in order to protect athletes’ mental health.

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