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article imageHollande says France 2024 Olympic bid hardened by terror

By AFP     Aug 5, 2016 in World

French president Francois Hollande insisted Friday that France has been hardened by recent militant attacks and that the tougher security imposed makes the country ideal for the 2024 Olympics.

Hollande met in Rio with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on a two-day visit to the Brazilian city where the 2016 Games start Friday.

"We have been tested by the attacks and foiled others," said Hollande whose country has been targeted by a series of bloody outrages over the last 18 months.

"We managed to protect ourselves better and protect the big events like we did for the Euros (football championship in June and July). We have gained experience that many others have not."

"To win you have to be tougher and united."

France is competing against Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome for the right to host the 2016 Games. The decision will be made in Lima in September 2017.

"The entire world is under threat from terrorism. No region, no country, no city can think they are immune."

Hollande was accompanied by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and sports minister Patrick Kanner.

"We want the Olympics and Paralympics but it's also for the Olympics to tell us what they expect from Paris," added Hollande.

The French president declined to reveal what Bach advised for fear of "compromising the Paris bid".

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