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The French National and Olympic Sports Committee (CNOSF)

On 23 June 1894, Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games at the Sorbonne University in Paris, and the International Olympic Committee came into being. Following this boost to the international sporting movement, two institutions were created to organise the Olympic movement in France and French sport. These two bodies later merged to form the CNOSF as we know it today.

The French Olympic Committee (COF) was the first to be created, in autumn 1894. Its initial goal was to prepare the French delegation for the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 and the following Games in Paris in 1900. The President of the Republic at the time, Félix Faure, agreed to be its honorary president.

The National Sports Committee (CNS) was founded in 1908, uniting all sports federations to tackle shared challenges.

Finally, in 1972, the COF and the CNS merged with the aim unifying the French sporting movement. The French National and Olympic Sports Committee (CNOSF) was created on 22 February 1972.

A twofold origin for two different types of mission

The committee has a twofold role based on the different missions of the COF and the CNS :

  • Firstly, it represents the IOC and the Olympic movement in France. It aims to develop, promote and protect the Olympic movement and its values throughout the country. The CNOSF is one of 206 National Olympic Committees.
    The CNOSF is therefore responsible for selecting and leading the French delegation at the Olympic Games and other competitions overseen by the IOC. Lastly, the Committee is in charge of selecting and supporting any city that wishes to bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • Secondly, it represents a unified French sporting movement by bringing together sports federations, clubs and their members. Representing the French sporting movement to public authorities as well as civil society, the CNOSF organises projects for the mutual interest of the federations. In particular, it aims to develop high level sport, ensure universal access to sport, and promote sport for health in France.

2024, from the origin to the legacy

In the name of the sporting movement, and as part of its remit as the National Olympic Committee, the CNOSF initiated, structured and supported the French bid to organise the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The French international sports committee (CFSI) was created with the Ministry for Sport on 5 December 2012 and entrusted with defining France’s international sports strategy, marking the first stage of the Olympic ambition. The CFSI was set up at the headquarters of the CNOSF, the Maison du Sport Français in Paris. On 12 February 2015, the CFSI delivered its report on the opportunity and feasibility of an Olympic bid. A few months later, on 23 June 2015, it was at the Maison du Sport Français that the Paris 2024 bid was officially announced.

© Boby