A preliminary round in Paris, then a final stage at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille. Two Olympic titles to defend for French teams. An extraordinary environment. In the Paris 2024 Games, handball is one of the most anticipated team sports of the Olympic fortnight.
At the head of the discipline, within the organizing committee, Camille Guichard (pictured above, at the Tokyo 2020 Games). FrankGames continues with the Frenchwoman of Breton origin his series of interviews with sports managers of OCOG Paris 2024.
FrancsJeux: Your life before OCOG Paris 2024?
Camille Guichard : I worked for two years, in 2020 and 2021, at the International Handball Federation (IHF) at the headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. I am in charge of organizing competitions for international events. My previous experience is quite similar, as I was in charge of international competitions in the French Handball Federation (FFH), especially the Men’s World Cup in 2017 and the Women’s Euro the following year. I worked on these two events within the organizing committee and an agency, with a passage to the Women’s Handball League.
Your previous Olympic Games experience?
It was built during the Tokyo 2020 Games, where the international federation sent me. I was there, in Yoyogi’s room. Upstream of the event, my role is mainly to support the national federations of the qualifying countries, especially for the registration of players. When the Games began, I worked with the Japanese in the logistical and operational organization of the two tournaments.
An unforgettable memory of the Games?
France’s two gold medals at the Tokyo Games, for men and women. Hearing the Marseillaise played two days in a row, in the handball hall, was very moving. I was lucky to be present for these two podiums. A very powerful and unforgettable memory. Younger, but in front of my television, the gold medal at the London 2012 Games for the French men’s team, when all the players posed for a photo imitating the movements of Usain Bolt.
The folder at the top of the pile on your desk?
Transfer and transfer between the site of Paris for the preliminary stage and Lille from the quarter-finals. They will worry about the players, of course, but also the referees, staff, international federations, officials… In Paris, the competition will end on August 4 after 10:00 pm It will continue in the morning of next day , at 9:30 am , for the first match at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq. The day of transfer and transfer promises to be intense, with very careful planning of a large number of subjects, including teams, volunteers, but also the technical aspect of the rooms.
The two handball sites, in Paris and Lille: their strengths, the challenges in view of the Games?
They are very different from each other. In Paris, the Arena Sud at the Parc des Expositions at the Porte de Versailles will benefit from an exceptional location, shared with two other sports, table tennis and volleyball. The party looks great. But it will be necessary to install everything, because the room is an empty shell, to make everything fit. It will also be necessary to consolidate the requirements and technical elements of the two other sports that will follow at the same site, weightlifting at the Olympic Games, then goalball at the Paralympic Games. The Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille presents a completely different setting. With its 27,000 seats, the atmosphere must be exceptional. He has already used for the Men’s Handball World Cup in 2017. The page is therefore not blank. Its equipment is of a very high standard, everything is well distributed and perfectly thought out. But the pitch will not be the same height as the corridors and changing rooms, because the stadium is designed in a football configuration.
Paris 2024 will be a success for handball if…
In sports terms, the ideal would be to revive a scenario comparable to the Tokyo 2020 Games, with two gold medals for France. But the bar is very high. The Games will also be successful if we can offer a great popular festival with a strong legacy. Finally, I want everyone involved to end the event with a smile on their lips, full of emotion and proud to participate in a competition that will start on the eve of the opening ceremony, on July 25, that will end at the closing. day, Sunday 10 August.