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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Paris 2024 Outlook As Opening Ceremonies Approach: Trés Bien

  • Security plans, infrastructure described as proceeding well after months of prior issues.
  • Opening ceremonies remain the most ambitious in Olympics history.

Paris has received a welcome dose of good news for its long-troubled 2024 Olympics. After months of battles around security, alleged corruption, and complaints of price-gouging for hotel rooms and tickets, the infrastructure for the upcoming Games is set to be delivered on time and on budget. The IOC has also publicly endorsed the security plan for the ambitious opening ceremonies.

The city’s opening ceremony next summer is built around a water parade along the River Seine involving several-hundred-thousand spectators, a plan unprecedented in scope in Olympics history—and one requiring an ambitious security protocol. The ongoing Israel-Hamas war has raised concerns of a related attack in Paris, but IOC officials conveyed their support following an executive board meeting this week in South Korea. The Paris 2024 security budget, amounting to nearly $350 million, will involve the deployment of 45,000 staffers during the opening ceremonies and 35,000 for the other days of the Olympics.

“Obviously we are in constant contact [with Paris 2024 organizers],” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “We do have very high confidence in authorities to make sure that these Games are safe and secure.”

The athletes’ village for Paris 2024 is set to be completed by March 1, and while three competition sites are facing slight construction delays, the overall project is said to be on schedule.

“There are three sites out of 70 that are being monitored, without the schedule being at risk,” said Nicolas Ferrand, president of Solideo, the public company leading Paris 2024 infrastructure, at a hearing of the French senate’s sports commission. “Overall, the works are totally on time and they are within the budget given to us, and with the levels of ambition that were set.”

The Paris 2024 Olympics are set for July 26 through Aug. 11.

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