Written by on April 4, 2024

Written by: Floyd Nkanyane


Paris (AP) – After a century-long wait, the Olympic Games are finally returning to the City of Light. When the opening ceremony commences on July 26th, 2024 at the iconic Stade de France, all eyes will be on Paris as it plays host to the XXXIII Olympiad.

It’s been 100 years since Paris last welcomed the Olympic movement for the 1924 Games. The French capital also hosted the second modern Olympics way back in 1900. Now with the Olympic torch making its way through the streets of Paris once again, expectations are sky-high for the 2024 edition to deliver a spectacular showcase of sport and cultural celebration.

“We intend to provide the world’s greatest athletes with an unforgettable experience taking center stage in one of the world’s most iconic cities,” said Tony Estanguet, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in slalom canoeing for France and now Paris 2024 President. “These will be the most sustainable, egalitarian and youth-focused Olympics of the modern era.”


Pushing Boundaries

In keeping with their vision, Paris 2024 organizers have shaken up the Olympic program with several new sports making historic debuts aimed at attracting young viewers and athletes. Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will all be on the Olympic slate for the first time in Paris.

The inclusion of these adrenaline-packed activities reflects an International Olympic Committee initiative to remain relevant with younger audiences. Athletes like American surf prodigy Caroline Marks and Brazilian skate phenom Rayssa Leal could become the new faces of these trendy games.

“As a kid, I never could have dreamed of being an Olympian,” said 21-year-old Marks, who will compete in the debut Olympic surfing competition held in the powerful waves of Tahiti’s Teahupo’o. “It’s going to be an incredible experience representing America and our sport on the highest stage.”


Sustainable Spectacle

In addition to renovating several existing venues, Paris organizers are constructing eight new permanent competition sites at a cost of €3 billion euros for the 2024 Games. But sustainability and renewable energy are key pillars, with a commitment to using 95% existing or temporary venues in an effort to limit environmental impact.

One of the premier new venues will be the Grand Palais in the heart of Paris, which will host the sport climbing and skateboarding events. The Grand Palais’ iconic glass-roof will offer athletes and fans panoramic views of the Champs-Elysées and Eiffel Tower while competing.


Stringent Security

In the wake of recent terror attacks in France, safety and security are also paramount priorities. A budget of €330 million has been approved to deploy a private-public security force of over 55,000 staff and military personnel to secure the games.

Despite the obstacles, the world’s most celebrated sporting spectacle is heating up to possibly be one of the most memorable and meaningful in recent memory.

“After overcoming the challenges of the past couple years, I believe Paris 2024 will be a celebration of sports’ ability to inspire and unite people across all borders and backgrounds,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The Olympic flame’s return to Paris will warmly light the path for peace and global unity.”

With the 2024 torch soon to be lit, all signs point towards the City of Light brilliantly shining bright on the global stage once again.

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