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Paris 2024: Will They Be The Most Popular Olympic Games In History?

The Organizing Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games wants to stand out in the centenary year of the maximum sporting event with a ceremony open to the public

River Seine de Paris and floating above it, the logo of the Olympic Games (The rings)

The first message of these games is democratization, since the inauguration will be free for hundreds of thousands of spectators in the heart of the so-called ‘City of Light’. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

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Leer en español: París 2024: ¿serán los Juegos Olímpicos más populares de la historia?

July 26, 2024, may mark a before and after in the history of the Olympic Games, at least when it comes to opening ceremonies. The host city, Paris, plans through its Organizing Committee, to open the games on the River Seine with a ceremony totally open to the public.

That the opening is not held at the Olympic Stadium, as has happened so far in all previous editions, is something unprecedented. The first message of these games is democratization since the inauguration will be free for hundreds of thousands of spectators in the heart of the so-called 'City of Light'.

"For the first time, it will be the athletes who open the ceremony and not those who close it. We want the athletes to be at the heart of the Games and offer them the best experience," added Tony Estanguet, the president of the Estranguet Organizing Committee to ESPN, before clarifying that the idea was already implemented in a similar way in the Youth Games of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2018.

Planning

The first step was the signing of the protocol. The athletes will parade through the waters of the Seine in 160 boats and not through an Olympic track, being watched by some 600 thousand spectators.

In the east of Paris, specifically on the Austerlitz bridge, the parade will begin that will cross six kilometers of the river until it ends in front of the Eiffel Tower, after crossing a path that will show several of the most emblematic monuments of the French capital. The lower part of the banks of the Seine with seats that can be bought, but not those in the upper part which, as they are more removed from the athletes, will have free access.

The ceremony will also feature acrobatic and sporting shows on the many bridges that span the river. Attendees will witness different performances, while 80 giant screens will allow them to live the experience in a closer way. Regarding the artistic part, Estranguet pointed out that it has not yet been defined but that it will also be something extraordinary.

 

Some 'Low Cost' games

Paris 2024 will start just one week after the Tour de France ends, and from now on it can be defined as a competition that wants to rescue the values of equality and diversity. With a budget of more than 4 billion dollars, this Organizing Committee is far from the expenses that the London 2012 editions had to face with 14.950 million dollars and Tokyo 2020 with 15.840 million.

This, motivated by the strategy that they will implement to use their most popular, iconic, tourist and visited places as part of the Olympic calendar. Another important fact is that these games will have equality in the participation of genders since the number of athletes, 10,500, will be distributed in exactly the same number of men and women.

There will be new disciplines such as surfing, a competition to be held in Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia 15,700 kilometers from the French capital, as well as climbing, skateboarding, and breakdancing. All this with the intention of linking the Olympic program more with the new generations.

Also read: Why did the USA start a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics?

Novel games

The sport will leave its stadiums so that scenarios such as the Champs-Elysées could be transformed into a cycling track, the Champs de Mars into a beach volleyball court, while the Invalides, the Castle of Versailles, and the Grand Palais could also be competition venues.

It is also necessary to clarify that the Stade de France, the Arena Bercy, the Parc des Prince, and Roland Garros, sports venues with a long tradition, will also be part of the event.

Paris plans to make the most of the existing infrastructure and build only the facilities that the population needs. It is committed to sustainability, offsetting carbon emissions, and favoring ecological alternatives in fundamental areas such as transport, food, and energy.

But Paris will not be the only venue. Marseille will host the sailing events, football will also be held in Bordeaux, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Nice, Nantes, and Marseille, while handball will take place in Lille. Without a doubt, that the next edition of the Olympic Games promise.