French Sports Minister expects stronger cooperation with China

Updated 2017-10-27 23:02:56 Xinhua

Newly-appointed French Sports Minister Laura Flessel told a press conference held in the French Embassy in Beijing on Thursday that France is seeking a stronger tie with China.

"In order to have better performances in 2022 and 2024, we are discussing with Chinese counterparts in which sports the two countries are going to cooperate," said Flessel, former Olympic fencing champion and Paris 2024 ambassador who was named as the sports minister in May this year.

Beijing is preparing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics while Paris was named as the organizer for the 2024 Summer Games by the International Olympic Committee on September 13 this year.

"I would invite Chinese athletes in various sports to go to France and also encourage French athletes to come to China," she said. "I believe that will be win-win collaboration."

The 45-year-old, who was born in the French Overseas Department of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, won individual and team epee titles at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

She also took individual bronze at Sydney 2000 and individual silver and team bronze at Athens 2004 in a glittering career which also included six world titles.

Flessel said the focus of cooperation should be on the training of young athletes and securing of jobs for retired athletes.

The sports minister will attend a Tour de France criterium in Shanghai on Sunday, which features top riders and bids to attract a cycling following in China.

Flessel said that through the Shanghai event, France will demonstrate their experience and ability in hosting major sports competitions.

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