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an unprecedented and grandiose opening ceremony on the Seine


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The board of directors of the Organizing Committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games validated on Monday the principle of an opening ceremony on the Seine, the first in the history of the Summer Olympics which will take place outside a stadium. The organizers plan to welcome nearly 600,000 people, some of whom will have free access to the ceremony.

The board of directors of the Organizing Committee for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 validated, Monday, December 13, the principle of an unprecedented opening ceremony on the Seine – a ceremony which will thus take place outside a stadium for the first time in the history of the Summer Olympics.

According to the planned plan, more than 160 boats welcoming sportsmen and women from more than 200 delegations will parade on the river for nearly 6 km between the Pont d’Austerlitz and the Pont d’Iéna, right in the center of Paris. The end of the ceremony will be held on the Esplanade du Trocadéro.

“Today is a strong moment. There is a lot of emotion, a lot of enthusiasm. The opening ceremony is necessarily the biggest scorer,” said Tony Estanguet, boss of the Paris 2024 Games, during a press conference at the end of the Board of Directors of the Organizing Committee.

Reluctance of the police

The organizers plan to welcome nearly 600,000 people, with part of the public distributed along the banks on paid stands, and another part of the public who will be able to access the ceremony free of charge.

The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, had formalized in July on the sidelines of the Tokyo Olympics this summer this project, which had raised reluctance on the side of the police, worried about being able to secure an event of such magnitude.

These would have liked to limit the public to 250,000 people while the organizers and the town hall of Paris saw bigger, “around 2 million people in the initial project”, had assured a source close to the town hall.

At the end of an interministerial committee devoted to the Paris Olympics a month ago in Seine-Saint-Denis, Prime Minister Jean Castex asked the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, to formulate “proposals” for the security of the event “by the end of the year”.

Nearly fifty meetings with all the authorities involved, from the Ministry of the Interior to the river institutions of the Seine through the town hall of Paris, were necessary to study the feasibility of the project likely to evolve.

With AFP


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