The 2024 summer Olympics in Paris will mark the first time that an opening ceremony is not held inside a stadium – instead, the extravaganza will take place along the River Seine, with spectators lining the streets and bridges of heart of the capital of France. The plan is not without risk, and organizers unveiled several safety protocols on Tuesday.
the Olympics opening ceremony starts at 8:24pm at July 26, when the first boat – which brought the Greek delegation – leave a to the the River Seine from east side of the capital. The ship will lead a flotilla of boats carrying athletes participating in the Games 6 kilometers west through the heart of the French capital, past famous landmarks and crowds of spectators.
The last boat, carrying the French delegation, will arrive at 11:50 pm at the Eiffel Tower, where the athletes and other spectators will witness the artistic and musical spectacle of the official ceremony with the lighting of the flame Olympics.
Olympic host countries often use the opening ceremony to be in the spotlight wilderness national culture for a global audience, often through song and dance. But the organizers of the 2024 games added a twist by refusing to host the event in a stadium to make the city of Paris itself the star of the show.
“This is the biggest audience there is in France, the most beautiful showcase,” said organizing committee president Tony Estanguet in a press conference last Tuesday. “Our responsibility is to create dreams, to show how amazing this country is.”
“Its open and public nature The ceremony will enable hundreds of thousands of people to see it for free,” added Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
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But the scale and open nature of the event presents unique logistical and security challenges.
The organizers promise that the ceremony will be “the largest ever in the history of the Games”, and the numbers are huge: About 10,500 athletes, 100,000 paying guests, up to 400,000 free ticket holders and 200 heads of state are set to attend. Live broadcasts will be shown on 80 giant screens and extensive sound systems BE built in the capital.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin joined Estanguet and Mayor Hidalgo on Tuesday to detail an 11-page security protocol aimed at protecting the event from threats of terrorism, drone attacks and other risks.
One of the biggest security announcements is that attendees who want to claim one of the hundreds of thousands of free tickets must register in advance on a ticketing platform set up by France’s interior ministry. Darmanin said the tool is “necessary for regulating everything [crowd] flow for tourists and Parisians“.
Free ticket the holders THERE access to one of the 20 zones along the upper embankments of the river, separated from visitors who pay for a closer, waterside view. They do not have access to the bridges, which are reserved for logistics, sound and lighting equipment, emergency services and security, and paid ticket holders.
Ticket prices for the opening CEREMONIES ran as high as €2,700 during the latest ticket sale on May 11. Athletes and others have already rejected the high prices of tickets to competitions, which run from €24 to €980 for semi-final events.
>> Read more: Athletes have criticized the Paris 2024 Olympics due to high ticket prices
The security protocol is addressed grave concern that the show could become a target of terrorism, as well as the possibility of protests afterwards THE sustained and sometimes violent demonstrations this year against pension reforms pushed by President Emmanuel Macron.
Bomb-carrying drones are also a concern. “This is a completely new threat,” Darmanin said. “It’s not certain that anything will happen but this is the most difficult preparation.”
The plans include an unprecedented deployment of 35,000 police officers to the French capital for the opening ceremony. (For in comparison, the police force in London deploys almost 13,000 police for this BIGGEST security operation, the coronation of King Charles.)
The others 2,000-3,000 Security agents will also be called from private companies, with enhanced screening procedures for hiring.
“We will be, in terms of security, it is very demanding about those in the lower and higher ports [of the river] or in stadiums, including private security agents,“ Darmanin said.
An extra 400 security cameras will also be installed in the streets of Paris before the event, bringing the total to 4,400.
Critics have that raised privacy concerns about the video surveillance technology that will be used at the Paris Games on an experimental basis, combining cameras with artificial intelligence software to flag potential risks to security such as abandoned packages or crowding.
>> Read more: Critics claim Paris is using 2024 Games to introduce Big Brother video surveillance
Darmanin on Tuesday defended the measures, saying that all the security efforts made “have a common goal: that the experience for the spectators will be as good as possible”.
As plans for the ceremony firm up – now Only 14 months to go – this week’s announcements show some attempts to lower the activity. Previous announcements put the number of free tickets at 500,000, as opposed to “almost” 300,000 – 400,000 suggested by the sports minister in charge of the Olympics, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, on Sunday.
Darmanin on Tuesday said “hundreds of thousands” of free tickets will be available.
There are still questions that have been completed a recruitment lack for privately hired security agents and how many boats will join the flotilla. The French media have quoted figures between 90-170 ships. But “there are the questions of how many delegations will refuse to participate in the parade as well as which delegations will accept sharing boats“, a member of the organizing committee told French sports media site RMC Sport.
Tuesday’s safety protocol specifies that there will be 30 security boats and 25 other vessels in reserve. in the case of breakdown or other need.
A partial trial run for the flotilla, without passengers, will take place on July 17, with more tests is planned for spring 2024. In the week before the event, two days of rehearsals on the river are planned.
And new air defense technologies to combat potential drone attacks will be tested later this year when France hosted the Rugby World Cup.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)