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The 2024 Paris Olympics

Updated: Feb 11

With the new year just underway, many important milestones are already in sight. The Paris 2024 Olympics is no exception and promises to be an unforgettable experience. Every facet of its development pays tribute to the vibrant history of France, as well as to a budding legacy of environmental activism. 


Notable Features

The Bélem

The Paris 2024 Olympics will boast a variety of novel sporting events. These sports include break dancing, sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing. However, the most exciting aspect of the Olympics is arguably the integration of public life with the Games. One example of this integration includes the establishment of a marathon for the public. Called the Marathon pour tous, this race will follow the route of Olympic athletes and is open to anyone over twenty years of age. What’s more, this route traces the path of the legendary Women’s March on Versailles that took place in 1789. This march was a French-Revolution era rally against the monarch Louis XVI, eventually resulting in the signing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens, an important move towards democratizing the French government.


Other notable inclusions are the addition of new athletic venues, like the Athletes Village and Aquatic Centre of Saint Denis. Finally, another unique feature of the Paris Olympics is the Bélem, a three-masted ship that will sail from Olympia, Greece to Marseille, France. This ship will transport the Olympic flame .


Fostering Environmental Stewardship

Stade de France

What truly distinguishes the Paris Olympics is its commitment to environmental stewardship. Most of the events will take place in existing structures, such as the Stade de France, originally constructed in 1998 for the football (soccer) World Cup.


Other sustainable measures include the plan baignade, a massive, 1.4 billion clean up of the River Seine. This clean up seeks to restore the river’s vitality, not only for the Olympics’ aquatic competitions, but to establish a new, eco-friendly legacy. Pierre Rabadan, former

The River Seine

rugby player and current deputy mayor of France describes how the Paris Olympics fits into a larger movement to transform the city into an eco-friendly haven, explaining that “the Olympics [gives] us the opportunity to accelerate the transition we need,” though these measures are still fighting  “a lot of political resistance.”



Controversy

A Riverside Bouquiniste

Despite all the excitement surrounding this year’s Games, preparations for the Paris Olympics have been met with controversy. A slew of corruption and mismanagement charges have shaken organizers. Additionally, some small-business owners have claimed that infrastructure for the Olympics is erasing their livelihoods. This is the case for the bouquinistes of the River Seine, who have been selling books along the river bank for centuries. After being issued an order to dismantle their stalls for the Games’ opening ceremony, these booksellers are fighting back. Jeremy Callais, president of the Paris Booksellers Association claims that “people come to see us like they come to see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame…[the authorities] want to hide us during a ceremony that is supposed to represent Paris.”

 

All in all, the 2024 Paris Olympics promises a spectacular experience for both athletes and spectators. By combining a rich cultural legacy, climate activism, and innovative ideas, this year’s Games are sure to be unforgettable.









Written by Pranavi Vedula, High School Intern

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