An official statement about the new format of the opening of the 2024 Olympics, which will be held on the 26 of July, was made for the first time in December 2021 by Tony Estanguet. Friday’s grand ceremony is to take place on the Seine River. Several hundred thousand people will be able to take part in this dramatic event in Paris free of charge. The opening is expected to be held in an exceptional setting, near the iconic sights of the “City of Light”.
The official opening ceremony will be held outside the traditional sports complex for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games. And also, for the first time, a parade of delegations will be opening this event between the Pont d’Austerlitz and the Jena Bridge before heading to the Trocadero, the area opposite the Eiffel Tower for the final part of the ceremony.
According to the planned scenario, more than 160 boats provided to athletes and sportswomen from more than 200 delegations will parade along the river at a distance of almost 6 km between the Austerlitz Bridge and the Jena Bridge in the centre of Paris. The ceremony will conclude at the Trocadero esplanade.
The Olympics for 600,000 people
The organisers plan to accommodate about 600,000 people: part of the public will be seated along the shores on the paid stands, and the other part of the crowd will get free access to the ceremony.
French President Emmanuel Macron officially announced this idea in July 2021 at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which caused discontent among law enforcement authorities concerned about the possibility of ensuring the safety of such a large-scale event. Nevertheless, the project was approved. So, for all the fans of grandiose sporting events, it’s time to bet on sports.
At the press conference based on the results of the board of directors of the Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet said that this is an important moment, full of emotions and enthusiasm. According to him, the opening ceremony will definitely become a grand event.
The police would want to limit the audience to 250 000 people, while the organisers know that in the initial project, the audience number was about 2 million, – said the source close to the mayor’s office.
After an interdepartmental committee dedicated to the Paris Olympics was held in Saint-Saint-Denis, Prime Minister Jean Castex asked Interior secretary Gerald Darmanin to formulate proposals on ensuring the security of the event before the end of the year.
About fifty meetings with all interested authorities, from the Ministry of the Interior to river institutions on the Seine River and the Paris City Hall, were required to study the feasibility of the project.
The opening ceremony in Paris 2024 will come out of the historical framework and mark a break from previous formats of the games. In 2024, the ceremony will be bold, original and unique; it will become a significant event in the history of the Olympic Games.
Outside the stadium
For the first time in the Summer Olympics history, the ceremony will be held outside the stadium. Paris-2024 will break the rules of the competitions, allowing sports to enter the city. Since the city will become a living space for an exceptional moment, various pictures of the general display will feature monuments, bridges and cultural objects located along the Seine.
Ceremony on the river
The parade, unprecedented in its form, will be held on water carriers designed for national delegations, with cameras so that the audience can be as close as possible to the venue and to the athletes. Moving from east to west in Paris, 10,500 athletes will be accommodated at various arenas for sixteen days. A unique sporting spectacle is expected. The length of the entire Olympic route will be six kilometres, and it will conclude before the Trocadero, where the final of the show and protocol ceremonies will take place.
The ceremony will be open to the majority of people and free of charge, which is a big change. On the high embankments, the spectators will be able to attend events for free. Paid tickets will be available for the viewers of the low embankments between the Pont d’Austerlitz and the Jena Bridge. Thanks to this format, at least 600,000 spectators are invited to the Olympics on the embankments and bridges of Paris, which is ten times more than at the stadium. Eighty giant screens and loudspeaker communication will allow everyone to enjoy the magical atmosphere that this unusual show will create. It will be broadcasted throughout the capital. The Paris-2024 Games’ opening ceremony will be the largest Olympic ceremony in the world. Parisians and spectators from all over France and from all over the world will be invited to this unique event.
Ceremony for athletes
The athletes will be in the limelight of the show. Paris-2021 will break the conventional codes by the opening delegations. Immediately after the parade and then throughout the ceremony, the delegates will participate in artistic performances, demonstrating the readiness of Paris-2024 to host the games for athletes.
The show will begin the performance in the eastern part of the river, and then the boats will go in the western direction. The ceremony will start near the Pont d’Austerlitz. Then the boats will go around two Parisian islands: the famous Ile Saint-Louis and de la Cité, then the procession will pass under eight or ten bridges to arrive at the place of performances, which will be the final enchanting point of the route. From aboard their boats, athletes will see some of the official venues of the Games, like the Place de la Concorde, the Grand Palais, the Esplanade des Invalides, and, finally, the Jena Bridge, where the journey will end in front of the Trocadero for the grand finale after the official protocol and show.
Olympics in numbers
This is the minimum number of spectators that the organisers expect on the bridges crossing the Seine and the nearby piers on the 26 of July 2024. These people will come to see how the athletes will pass by on the barges. This figure is over seven times the capacity of the Stade de France (80 000).
Some places, especially the lower docks, will be paid, but the price and the number of tickets have not been specified yet.
Six kilometres is the distance that the water carriers, on which the athletes will be located, will travel. They will take the route past Notre Dame or the Louvre. A total of 160 boats will be used to transport athletes and members of delegations.
This is the number of giant screens located along the entire route so that all viewers can watch the ceremony in real-time.
This is the number of athletes and members of delegations expected at the Seine on the 26 of July 2024.
In addition, it is expected that about 120 heads of State and Government officials will take part in this event.
One billion spectators are what the government officials are hoping for the Paris-2024 ceremony, which should last over three hours. But it will be finalised after the art director is appointed. This should happen during 2022. This figure of one billion is the average number of people who attend the summer Olympics’ opening ceremony across the globe.
The 2024 Olympics in Paris promises to be unique and unparalleled. In the history of the Olympics, there has never been such a thing. Surely, everyone should become a part of it.