French athletes with young babies offered hotels at Paris Olympics

FEB 27, 2024 LISTEN

The French Olympic Committee said Monday that it would provide hotel rooms for breast-feeding French athletes during the Paris Olympics. A social area for families will also be created because children are set to remain barred from the athletes' village. 

The move is a response to demands by new mothers that parenting be taken into greater consideration by sporting bodies, notably by French judo star Clarisse Agbegnenou.

Breast-feeding French sportswomen will be offered rooms at a hotel a short distance from the athletes' village where they can sleep with their infants or have their fathers look after them, French Olympic Committee secretary general Astrid Guyart told reporters.

Olympic rules mean children can be given passes to enter the athletes' village under exceptional circumstances, Guyart explained, but the passes are "very restricted".

Unprecedented move

A social area for families will also be created at the hotel, she added, with the total cost estimated to be around €40,000.

"It's unprecedented and it's something we want to become permanent, so that's not a one-off because it's the Olympics in Paris," said Astrid Guyart, head of the Athletes' Commission which has been advising organisers of the Paris Games.

The Olympics are set to take place from 26 July - 11 August followed by the Paralympics from 28 August - 8 September.

Around 14,500 sportsmen and women and their staff are expected to sleep at the athletes' village which has been specially built across three towns in the northern Paris suburbs: Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine and L'Île-Saint-Denis.

It will house 9,000 athletes and their staff during the Paralympic Games. As many as 60,000 meals will be served per day and a medical centre will be open around the clock for athletes.

After the Games, the village will be transformed into private housing for around 6,000 people, with schools, sports facilites and shops.

President Emmanuel Macron is to inaugurate the site on 29 February.

(with AFP)