Terrorism fears across Europe… ‘Seine Opening Ceremony’ off the table

“A completely open Games.

That’s the slogan of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games organizing committee president Tony Estange. As France celebrates the return of the world’s greatest sporting event to Paris after 100 years since 1924, the country is focusing its energies on creating a different kind of Olympics.

As Mr. Estange explained, the Paris Games are preparing to be location-agnostic, both in the stadium and in the stands. Instead of building new stadiums, Paris will host events in the city’s landmarks. Ninety-five percent of the events will take place in existing venues.

But don’t think that means it’s going to be dingy or shabby. For the first time in Olympic history, the Opening Ceremony will be held outside of a stadium. It’s on the Seine. But there’s a chance that the ambitiously planned opening ceremony could change. Terrorism fears across Europe due to the war in the Middle East have increased security threats. “We have a plan B and a plan C because we are professionals,” French President Emmanuel Macron told French media, “and plan B will be triggered if instability forces us to revisit existing plans.”

Previous plans to mobilize some of Paris’ most iconic stadiums for the Games are expected to be implemented as planned. The Parc des Princes, home of French professional soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, and Roland Garros, home of tennis majors, will be utilized. The whole of France will be mobilized, not just Paris. Sailing will be held in Marseille, soccer in Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, and more. Surfing takes place on the beach of Teahupou in Tahiti. The distance between athletes is also reduced. Marathons, as well as outdoor cycling events, are open to people of all ages. The awards ceremony will also be different. The organizers envision a festival-style ceremony that can be enjoyed by the public.

“The Paris Olympics will be a time for everyone to share,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, “and we will organize the festivities so that they are accessible to everyone who wants to enjoy them.”


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