“To receive the planet in the best possible conditions of safety, organization, social and ecological responsibility. This is the watchword launched on Tuesday March 14 by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, five hundred days before the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic (OG) and Paralympic Games.
"These five hundred days is the beginning of a countdown that comes after years and years of effort", launches the Head of State in a video posted on social networks. "These five hundred days will also be those of national mobilization," he added.
On Tuesday, the president received for lunch at the Elysée the partner companies – thirty in total, for the time being – who will contribute up to 1.2 billion euros to the organization of the Olympic Games, a little more quarter of the budget. He also spoke with Tony Estanguet, head of the organizing committee, and Thomas Jolly, artistic director, about the opening ceremony, which promises to be unprecedented, with a parade on the Seine.
Accompanied by the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Sports, Gérald Darmanin and Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, he then met half a thousand officials involved in the organization of the Games at 4.30 p.m. at the Paris prefecture. Emmanuel Macron "wants to make sure that everyone is at work" and that "possible pitfalls are known and anticipated", underlines the Elysée.
For the first time in Olympic history, the opening ceremony will not take place in a stadium, but outside, on the Seine, in the heart of the capital, an unprecedented challenge in terms of security.
On July 26, 2024 at 8:24 p.m., a hundred boats carrying delegations of athletes will descend the river, from the Austerlitz bridge to the Eiffel Tower. Six kilometers under the eyes of some 600,000 spectators, according to the current limit.
" In time "
"We have learned all the lessons from the events at the Stade de France," assured the Minister of Sports on France Inter on Tuesday, referring to the fiasco of the final of the Football Champions League in May 2022 in Saint-Denis, in the United States. gates of Paris. “We want to show the best of France. (…) There is no infeasibility (…) but there are still adaptations to be made”, for his part, conceded Tony Estanguet in an interview with Agence France-Presse.
Chaos in transport is undoubtedly the other nightmare of the organizers, after the dysfunctions of recent months in the Paris region and a tense social and political climate around the management of buses. Will airports be able to handle the millions of expected visitors? Will the necessary adaptations for the mobility of people with disabilities be satisfactory?
Will there be strikes, which many foreigners consider a French peculiarity? An impression currently reinforced by images of trash cans piling up in the streets of Paris against a backdrop of conflict over pension reform.
With regard to sports and housing infrastructure, "we are on schedule, everything will be delivered between December 2023 and spring", assures Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.
Based on ticketing revenue, sponsors and a contribution from the International Olympic Committee, the budget of the organizing committee (96% of private origin) is also the object of all attention, while the initial envelopes traditionally explode during of these kinds of events and that inflation complicates the situation.
It increased by 10% to reach 4.4 billion euros at the end of 2022, for a total cost of 8.8 billion euros including the budget of the Olympic facilities delivery company (Solideo) . "The costs are absolutely contained", nevertheless considers the minister. "We are on the way to succeed", welcomed Emmanuel Macron on Monday before mentioning, in his video on Tuesday, this "small revolution" and, beyond that, the "formidable heritage" that will also represent "5 000 new sports fields” and “transport infrastructure”.