On Monday 13 December 2021, the Board of Directors of Paris 2024 approved the unprecedented location and concept for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Paris 2024: for the first time, the ceremony of a Summer edition will take place not in a stadium, but right in the heart of Paris, with a 6 km procession along the Seine in a flotilla of some 160 boats, between Pont d’Austerlitz and the Pont d’Iéna. The river, its bridges and the capital’s iconic monuments will serve as the backdrop for a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, showing the world the very best of Paris, with over a billion people watching on television. This bold choice means that the Paris 2024 Opening Ceremony will be more open than any other in the entire history of the Games: at least 600,000 can experience it in the flesh – ten times more than could attend a traditional ceremony in a stadium.
Among others, the following matters are on the agenda for the Board of Directors:
An updated map of the competition venues
In keeping with the adjustments made to the concept validated in December 2020, the Board of Directors has made certain changes to the map of competition venues. The purpose of these adjustments is to allow better shared use to be made of the existing sites, whilst continuing to provide an exceptional backdrop for the Olympic and Paralympic feats of brilliance, at the very heart of Paris’ historical heritage. Les Invalides, the Pont Alexandre III and the Pont Iéna, the Trocadéro and the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville will cast glory over the road races in the Olympic Games.
The marathon will start from the Hôtel de Ville – one more iconic site that will play host to events in the heart of the city – and end at Les Invalides. The time trial riders will set off from Les Invalides, and cycle to Pont Alexandre III, which will also see action in the marathon swimming and triathlon. Finally, the Pont d’Iéna, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, will serve as the start and end point for the cycling sprint and race walking.
Originally intended to take place at Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the Paralympic Goalball will now be held in the Paris Sud Arena (Hall 6) in Porte de Versailles. In order to promote the Paralympic events as much as possible, whilst also ensuring everything runs smoothly, Paris 2024 hopes to set up a Paralympic hub at the Porte de Versailles centre, which will now play host to three Paralympic sports (boccia in Hall 1 and para table tennis in Hall 4).
Strategic guidelines for 2022
Having approved the broad outline for the Paris 2024 Games – the location for the Opening Ceremony, the concept for the Olympic Torch relay, the map of sites involved – Paris 2024 is pressing ahead with operational planning for services and operations in relation to the realisation of the Games.
The following are among the priorities identified for 2022: firm planning of the events calendar and test activities; finalisation of strategies for ticketing, celebrations in the city and volunteering opportunities.
Paris 2024 will continue its outreach programmes to touch as many lives as possible. 2022 will also see the release of the Paris 2024 mascot. In terms of sustainability, Paris 2024 will be using 2022 to firm up its plan for sustainable catering, and develop its strategy for the circular economy. Finally, Paris 2024 will be continuing its heritage programmes in relation to combating a sedentary lifestyle, in schools, businesses and in the overseas territories (active design), and rolling out its endowment fund.