Opening Ceremony, games wide open


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The Olympic Seine
© Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu - The Olympic Seine

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 3 May 2023, updated on 16 April 2024

A world first opening ceremony truly ‘open to all’ is just one of the inspiring ‘firsts’ France is bringing to people all over the world at Paris 2024.

France is boldly breaking records slating that the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be more ‘open’ than any Games in Olympic history. To begin with, for the first time ever, the Opening Ceremony is not being held in a stadium. Instead, it is launching from the quays and bridges of the iconic Seine, to be witnessed in the flesh, for free, by a record-breaking 600,000 people. That equates to ten times the spectator numbers of a stadium such as Stade de France.

The opening ceremony is poised to be a six kilometre procession along the Seine; the Seine as a glimmering track and the quays ‘spectator stands’. An anticipated 10,500 athletes from 206 countries will mingle among performers as part of a 160-strong flotilla, heading between Pont d’Austerlitz and the Pont d’Iéna. It will depart from the Austerlitz bridge, beside the Jardin des Plantes, before weaving its way around the two islands at the centre of Paris, the Île Saint Louis and the Île de la Cité, before passing under eight to ten bridges and gateways, reaching the Trocadero for the finale.

A billion to bear witness

Ensuring the full spectacle will be experienced by as many as possible, 80 giant strategically placed speakers will be placed across Paris. An incredible one billion people globally are expected to witness the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, in which athletes will showcase their prowess over 18 spirited days.

Marathon for all

In another historic first, the general public is being invited to participate in a mass running event known as Marathon Pour Tous (Marathon for All). Amateur athletes can follow in the footsteps of Olympic runners, along the same route as the Olympic marathon event.

A global village

Twenty-two of the 32 sports will be located within a 10km radius of the Olympic and Paralympic Village and there are four new sports: breaking (breakdancing), sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. Beach volleyball will be played at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Taekwondo and fencing will be staged in the Grand Palais, equestrian sports at the Château de Versailles, and archery on the Esplanade des Invalides.

The Paris 2024 Games are for the whole of France, promoting the country’s rich and diverse heritage. The football tournament will be played at six stadiums in other regions across France: Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Nice and Marseille. All handball matches will be played in Lille, while sailing will head to the Mediterranean, in Marseille. For the first time in history, the Games will extend into overseas territories and their communities, with the Teahupo’o site in Tahiti to stage the Olympic surfing competition on one of the most beautiful waves in the world.

The Trocadero ephemeral opera (photo © Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu).The Trocadero ephemeral opera (photo © Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu).

Just the ticket

For those seeking to attend the ticketed sections of the Opening Ceremony and the wider Games, the exclusive source of Olympic tickets is Paris 2024. Interested travellers seeking earlybird information about ticketing, athletes and more are encouraged to sign up to Club Paris 2024 ( Olympic fans are required to register in December 2022 for a draw. Sales will start in February 2023 for packages of three events or sessions. Then in May, sales will commence for single tickets.

Suspended artists (photos © Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu).Suspended artists (photos © Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu).

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