A popular running event in Paris has been canceled due to thousands of migrants establishing a sprawling encampment on the race route.
The annual ‘Grand Paris’ 10 kilometer run drew over 6,500 attendees last year, but has been called off over safety concerns, in deference to illegal immigrants who have been allowed to commandeer the banks of Canal Saint-Denis, a key stretch of the race.
“The Great Paris Grand Race is a race for sporting values, but also ecological, solidarity and humanistic,” organizers wrote in an official statement. “Today, more than 1,800 refugees from various backgrounds have settled under the bridges along the Saint-Denis Canal, taken by our route.”
“These makeshift camps grow and spread from day to day. According to the most recent estimates, they will gather more than 2,500 refugees in the coming weeks.”
“It seems to us unfeasible to cross these camps today because the passage is impossible, and it is difficult to pass a race in the middle of a refugee camp,” they explained. “Sport remains to us a great social vector. It must not become a source of exclusion.”
Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics, but a string of recent terror attacks, frequent civil unrest, and a clear inability to effectively mitigate migrant-related complications could create a toxic environment for the international contest.
Ironically, the Seine-Saint-Denis tourism department touts the Grand Paris race as an event designed to “maximise support” for the 2024 Olympics.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently espoused the idea that 150-200 million Africans will inevitably migrate to Europe over the next 30 years, and called for measures to be taken to prepare for their arrival.
(PHOTO: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)