French ministers hail 'exceptional' revamp of land around Olympic climbing venue

© Drone Press/Sennse - SOLIDEO DRONE PRESS

Two top French ministers joined forces 20 kilometres to the north of Paris on Monday to pay tribute to the builders, engineers and landscapers behind a 650-million euro regeneration project on 70 hectares of land around the venue for the sports climbing events during the Paris Olympic Games.

During their 90-minute tour of the Cluster des Medias, sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra and industry minister Roland Lescure inaugurated the 10-million euro Gymnase Marie Paradis in Le Bourget where competitors will warm up for their appearances between 5 and 10 August in the climbing events on the walls outside.

The delegation - which included politicians from the Seine-Saint-Denis region as well as Tony Estanguet, the boss of the Paris Olympics organizing committee - also inspected a new footbridge over the A1 motorway leading to apartment blocks in the Village des Medias in Dugny where more than 1,500 foreign technical staff and journalists will stay during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"What you have done is absolutely exemplary," Oudéa-Castéra told the 200-odd workers who had gathered inside the gymnasium which will be used for sports such as badminton, handball and volleyball as well as sport climbing after the Games.

"It's a relief and it's even more beautiful than it looked in the pictures," he beamed.

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