Organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympics have unveiled a spectacular and audacious plan for the most important opening ceremony in historical past, with a 6km parade of athletes in boats alongside the River Seine watched by greater than 600,000 folks. The athletes, who can be in additional than 160 boats, will go by Paris’s most iconic monuments, bridges and cultural establishments, together with Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
Alongside the size of the Seine, the emblematic river within the coronary heart of the town, dozens of creative performances are anticipated to happen, together with BMX stunt riders leaping excessive over bridges. The ceremony will then conclude with a ultimate present on the Place du Trocadéro, which faces the Eiffel Tower. Not solely will the opening ceremony be greater than ever earlier than however, for the primary time, most of it is going to be free to spectators.
Tony Estanguet, the president of the Paris 2024 organising committee, instructed the Guardian it might be probably the most “audacious and accessible” opening ceremony within the Games’ historical past. “It’s not the best method to ship the Games, however it’s our obligation to be actually bold,” he stated. “It’s the launch of the Olympics. It has to ship a robust message that these Games can be distinctive.
“One billion folks will watch the ceremony. We wish them to really feel one of the best of France. It is going to be a singular mixture of a sport and cultural second, with your entire metropolis become an unlimited Olympic stadium.”
No director has but been confirmed for the ceremony. Nevertheless, in asserting the proposals in Paris on Monday night, Estanguet promised the ceremony can be a “true second of marvellous insanity”.
“The Seine represents the monitor, and the quays the spectators’ stands,” he stated. “We wish to guarantee that we are going to showcase one of the best of sport, one of the best of tradition, and supply a superb present with music. The potential is limitless. And over 600,000 folks could have entry – about 10 instances extra folks than if it was staged in a standard stadium. It is going to be a spectacular present.”
The organisers’ plan is a part of a wider coverage to reimagine the Games, and take it to new audiences, with sports activities like breaking. Competitions can even be staged within the coronary heart of the town, together with seaside volleyball on the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and equestrian sports activities on the Chateau de Versaille. Mass participation biking and operating occasions can even be staged on the Olympic programs throughout Paris 2024.
Estanguet stated he had the ten,000 individuals on the Paris 2024 Games in thoughts when arising with such revolutionary opening ceremony proposals. “I’ve been an Olympic athlete and it’s been magical,” he stated. “Nevertheless it’s additionally proper to say that many athletes don’t take part within the opening ceremony due to the constraints of standing for hours and likewise getting again fairly late to the village.
“However with the boat parade they may have the selection to return to the village in the event that they wish to go to mattress early, or to remain for the second a part of the ceremony in a mini stadium by the Trocadero within the face of the Eiffel Tower. One other a part of our considering is that we wished to make use of the present landmarks of Paris, not construct them throughout the stadium.”
Estanguet, a former canoeist and the one French athlete to have gained a gold medal at three Olympic Games, additionally confirmed that organisers have been engaged on asserting plans for the mascot and torch relay.
“To be sincere with you, I’m very comfy with the best way this challenge goes,” he stated. “Now we have set and maintained the proper stage of ambition. We’re nonetheless on funds. We’re nonetheless on time. We could have difficulties to face over the approaching years, as a result of that all the time occurs. However contact wooden: up to now, so good.”
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