The setting for the opening ceremony at the 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: Courtesy of the International Olympic Committee
The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will be held on the River Seine, following approval of the location and concept by the Organising Committee’s Board of Directors on 13 December.
Instead of the traditional stadium setting, Paris 2024’s Opening Ceremony will be set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most iconic cities. More than 160 boats will carry delegations down a six-kilometre route from Pont d’Austerlitz to the Trocadéro, passing many famous Parisian monuments, bridges and cultural institutions, such as Notre Dame cathedral, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
With free public access to part of the river banks, as well as viewing areas on the many bridges and quays along the route, more than 600,000 spectators are expected to welcome the athletes from across the world for the Parade of Nations.
Speaking about the concept, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Organising the Opening Ceremony along the Seine, the emblematic river in the very heart of the city, perfectly aligns with Paris 2024’s ambition to reinvent the Games model by opening up participation to as many people as possible.”
He continued: “This Ceremony will be an exceptional experience for all the athletes taking part, but also, and above all, for the people of Paris, for France and for the whole world.”
Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet added: “Rest assured, the Paris 2024 Opening Ceremony will be nothing short of magical. Its staging will be ground-breaking. It will be a ceremony for the people, open to one and all. It will show the world the very best of France. A party like no other – and the world is invited!”
In addition to the Opening Ceremony decision, Paris 2024’s Board of Directors approved a number of competition venue changes.
The purpose of these adjustments is to allow for better shared use of the existing sites, while continuing to provide an exceptional backdrop for the Olympic and Paralympic competitions, in the very heart of the French capital.
Les Invalides, Pont Alexandre III, Pont d’Iéna, the Trocadéro and the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville are now included on the route of the road races.
The marathon will start from the Hôtel de Ville and end at Les Invalides. The road cycling time trial athletes will set off from Les Invalides and finish at Pont Alexandre III, which will also see action in the marathon swimming and triathlon.
Finally, Pont d’Iéna, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, will serve as the start and finish for the cycling road race and race walks.
The Olympic Games Paris 2024 will take place between 26 July and 11 August.