Olympics-Paris 2024 inaugurates Games' Pride House


FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pont Alexandre III Bridge that will be the temporary venue for the triathlon and para triathlon competitions, and will provide a setting for the road cycling individual time trial, the swimming marathon competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in Paris, France July 16, 2023. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris 2024 organisers on Friday inaugurated the 'Pride House' of the upcoming Olympics, just by the iconic Alexandre III bridge and a stone's throw from the Grand Palais and the Place de la Concorde.

The barge on the River Seine is designed to be a place promoting "inclusion for and through sport", according to Jeremy Goupille, co-chairman of Fier-Play, the association set up in 2022 to oversee the organisation of this second 'Pride House' in France after Euro 2016.

"It is here to ensure that all those who come from all over the world have a place where they feel at home, where they feel welcomed, where they can simply be who they are, whereas sometimes, in their own country, that is not possible", Aurore Berge, the French minister for equality between men and women, told Reuters on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

According to a study published by the ministry of Interior, anti-LGBTQIA+ offences recorded by the police and gendarmerie rose by 13% in 2023 in France compared with 2022.

Since the first initiative at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, more than 20 Pride Houses have been set up at major sporting events such as the Olympics and soccer World Cups.

The concept was banned at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, when spaces were opened outside Russia.

Located on the barge of the Rosa Bonheur guinguette, the 2024 Pride House will open the day after the opening ceremony, on July 27, until Aug. 11 before reopening in another as yet unknown location, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8 for the Paralympics.

Pride House 2024, which has the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as one of its partners for the first time, will welcome the general public as well as athletes.

"There will be dedicated areas for athletes to come and celebrate the Games with their loved ones in peace and quiet in the heart of Paris," Marie Barsacq, Executive Director of Impact and Legacy for Paris 2024, told Reuters.

(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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