Olympics-IOC's Bach praises Paris preparations after athletes' village visit

Olympics - IOC Olympic Village visit - Olympic Village, Saint-Denis, France - December 1, 2023 IOC President Thomas Bach and President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tony Estanguet visit the Paris 2024 Olympic Village with members of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee Franck Fife/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach praised Paris 2024's preparations for the next year's Olympics after visiting the athletes' village on Friday.

Bach and members from the IOC executive committee completed a four-day visit in Paris with a visit of the village in the Seine Saint-Denis department, just north of central Paris, strolling through the 86 buildings that will feature more than 14,500 beds for the athletes.

"It's always a great moment to be in an Olympic village because once the Games are over, the athletes will speak about the village," Bach told reporters.

"This is where the heart of the Olympic Games will be and the athletes will have great conditions. From what we would see here it's compact, very pragmatic, but also a wonderful scenery.

"I could continue to praise the preparations. It's not only me, but the entire IOC executive board is very happy, very satisfied with the stage of the preparations."

Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet said preparations were on track.

"The athletes' village is being finalised," he said.

"As scheduled, it will be delivered in early March so the organising committee will be able to prepare it for the athletes upon their arrival on July 15."

The visit went as normal despite a gas leak on the construction site in the morning.

The Olympics will be held from July 26-Aug. 11 and after the Aug. 28-Sept. 8, the athletes' village will become a 2,800-apartment neighbourhood, with 25% of them up for sale.

The rest will be social housings and apartments up for renting.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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