— Published 31 March 2023

“Place de la Concorde, the music will serve as a red thread”

One will experience the Olympic atmosphere next year, the other will live its second Summer Games, but the first ones in the presence of a public. In Paris 2024, 3×3 basketball and breaking will not only have in common a status of newcomers.

The two disciplines will also share the same site, the Place de la Concorde, at the foot of the Champs Elysées. And, more surprisingly, a single sport manager, the former professional basketball player Clarisse Costaz (photo above). The Frenchwoman answered the questions of FrancsJeux.

FrancsJeux: Your life before the Paris 2024 OCOG?

Clarisse Costaz: Before joining the OCOG in 2018, I spent eight months in Australia, where I worked for the Organizing Committee of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. I was manager in charge of protocol. But my adventure with Paris 2024 goes back to the bidding phase. After a career as a professional basketball player that ended in 2011 at the Challes-les-Eaux club, I left the world of sports to become a student at Sciences Po. With my degree in hand, I joined the Paris bid committee for the 2024 Games in 2015, in the sports department.

Your past experience of the Olympic Games?

It goes back to the Tokyo 2020 Games. I accompanied the sport managers of 3×3 basketball, BMX freestyle and skateboard in their daily work.

What is your favorite memory of the Games?

I have two. The first one goes back to my childhood: the opening ceremony of the Albertville Winter Games in 1992, directed by Philippe Decouflé. I was blown away by the show, this unprecedented link between culture and sport. I was six years old but I have not forgotten. The memory is all the stronger because I am originally from the region. My second Olympic memory is linked to my sport, basketball: the silver medal of the French men’s team at the Sydney 2000 Games. I was only 14 years old, but I was already playing quite well.

The issue at the top of the pile on your desk?

The balance between 3×3 basketball and breaking. They are two different sports from two very different international federations. But they have a lot in common: the presence of music, the speed, the sequence of events and matches… My priority is to create a cohesion between the two, while respecting the specificities of each. For us, they constitute a whole, not only because they will be played on the same site. Everything is thought out to combine them, especially for the work of the team, and the experience of the athletes and spectators.

The site of the 3×3 basketball and breaking: its assets, the challenge in the perspective of the Games?

Two sports but the same site: the Place de la Concorde. An incredible, iconic place, already used for temporary events, including the last stage of the Tour de France cycling race. We will share the square with skateboarding and BMX freestyle. The square is very protected, which is normal. Our challenge is to find the right balance between heritage, urbanity and the requirements of international federations. How do we sublimate the square? How can we set up the infrastructures and the stands, with the same capacity of just over 5,000 spectators, while respecting the place and its history? We have to find answers by thinking about music, activation, and the experience of the athletes and the public.

Paris 2024 will be a success for 3×3 basketball and breaking if…

The success will be measured above all by the experience of the athletes. At the Olympic Games, this remains the most important thing. We will have to put them in the best possible conditions to perform. After that, it will be decisive to respect the DNA of these two sports, trying to bring the public as close as possible to the athletes and the playing area. The spectators must also experience a unique competition. For this, music will play a decisive role. It will serve as a red thread.