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Countdown to the 2024 Paris Olympics: Less Than 100 Days to Go

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Prince Jean

Apr 17, 2024

Olympic Games

The Olympic rings were installed at the Trocadero plaza in Paris, providing a picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower in the background. Photo:vecteezy

The Olympic Torch was ignited on Tuesday in Ancient Olympia, Greece, marking the beginning of a 100-day countdown to the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics. This significant milestone was reached on the same day that the countdown clock in Paris displayed the 100-day marker.

The torch will travel a distance of 5,000 kilometers (about 3,100 miles) through Greece, carried by a series of torchbearers. This journey will conclude on April 26 in Athens, where the torch will be handed over to the organizers of the Paris Games.

Paris is preparing for an elaborate opening ceremony on July 26, featuring a grand waterborne event on the Seine River. However, concerns about security may lead to adjustments in these plans. French President Emmanuel Macron has acknowledged the potential need for changes, emphasizing the importance of ensuring safety.

The upcoming Paris Games are being promoted as environmentally friendly and economically sustainable. The city aims to set a new standard for future Olympic Games, addressing global challenges such as climate change. However, this approach has drawn skepticism amid broader criticisms about the costs and impacts of hosting the Games.

Recent Olympic events have faced scrutiny over their promises and outcomes. The 2021 Tokyo Games, delayed due to the pandemic, cost $13 billion. The 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi were marred by controversies, including unmet promises and doping scandals.

The Paris Games, with a budget of nearly 9 billion euros ($9.7 billion), funded largely through sponsorships, ticket sales, and other private sources, aims to cost less than the last three Summer Games. French taxpayers are expected to contribute approximately 3 billion euros ($3.25 billion), covering security and transportation, as estimated by France’s public audit office.

Security remains a pressing concern for Paris, a city that has experienced significant extremist violence in recent years. As a result, plans to allow 600,000 spectators along the Seine have been scaled back. Now, the opening ceremony will accommodate 326,000 spectators, consisting of ticket buyers and invited guests, scaling down earlier plans for extensive free public access.

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