France is gearing up for the most daring opening ceremony in Olympic history, fans must register in advance for tickets

France is gearing up for the most daring opening ceremony in Olympic history, fans must register in advance for tickets

As a way to pull off essentially the most daring opening ceremony in Olympic historical past, the French organizers are actually – fairly actually – on the identical web page.

The French authorities, the president of the Paris 2024 Olympic organizing committee, and the mayor of the French capital signed an 11-page safety protocol on Tuesday publicly outlining a number of the particulars of their plans to guard the unprecedented July 26 opening ceremony. terrorism threats, drone strikes and different dangers to giant crowds and 10,500 athletes.

A notable change is that the lots of of hundreds of spectators who will watch the free open-air gala, unfold alongside the three 1/2 mile parade route down the Seine River, should register upfront for tickets. French Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin, who’s accountable for Olympic safety, has pushed for the change in order that crowds of non-paying spectators could be allotted to designated spots on the higher embankment of the river, separate from the opposite 100,000 paying company for a more in-depth riverside view.

Dealing with knowledgeable doubts in regards to the dimension and complexity of the safety operation, Darmanin, president of the organizing committee Tony Estanguet and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo spoke at a information convention to defend France’s determination to make use of town middle as a venue for extravaganzas, ditching the safety of the normal stadium setting for the primary time.


It guarantees to be nice tv if all goes nicely, showcasing iconic monuments and the Seine River being cleared for Olympic swimming. However distinctive logistical and safety necessities may backfire spectacularly in entrance of a world French viewers if issues go fallacious.

An aerial view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower and the river Seine is proven on this laptop generated picture through the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics on July 26, 2024. (Paris 2024 through AP)

“When France hosted the Olympics – the final time was 100 years in the past – it was finished with ambition,” stated Estanguet. “It is a problem to prepare a ceremony in these circumstances however, once more, that is the most important viewers France has ever had, essentially the most lovely present. Our accountability is to create a dream, to point out how extraordinary this nation is.”


The Paris plan can also be very massive:

— The athletes shall be paraded from east to west alongside the river in 91 boats, with one other 25 boats in reserve for breakdowns or different wants. There will even be about 30 boats for safety; the river could be crowded. There shall be trials beginning this July. Your complete occasion, together with the water parade to the foot of the Eiffel Tower, artwork and music performances, and the official ceremony with the lighting of the Olympic flame and attended by heads of state is anticipated to final roughly 3 1/2 hours.

— With a deliberate deployment of 35,000 cops — a big proportion of France’s complete of 250,000 — the Paris ceremony would shrink “Operation Golden Ball”, Britain’s huge policing operation for the coronation of King Charles III. It mobilized practically 13,000 cops. London’s police commissioner stated it was the most important safety operation the 194-year-old Metropolitan Police had ever led.

— Total, a mean of 30,000 officers shall be mobilized per day from 26 July-August. 11 Olympics, rising to 45,000 on the busiest day within the Paris space, Darmanin instructed senators in October. Police holidays shall be canceled in June, July and early August with “very uncommon exceptions” and different occasions requiring supervision shall be postponed, he stated. The minister warned of “a really massive public order downside if, clearly, issues go fallacious.”

The acute concern after a number of assaults by the Islamic State group that killed 147 individuals in and round Paris in 2015 was that the present may change into a goal for terrorism. Bomb-carrying drones are additionally a trigger for concern. “It is a utterly new risk,” stated Darmanin.

There are additionally considerations about managing giant crowds and whether or not organizers can recruit sufficient personal safety guards.

“It is vitally bold and it’s true that many consultants have voiced opposition,” stated Bertrand Cavallier, former commander of France’s nationwide gendarmerie police coaching middle, talking in a phone interview. “Its bodily configuration may be very complicated.”

Amongst different challenges, he cited the chance of spectators falling into the river or falling off the higher embankment of the Seine into the paying crowd beneath. The safety protocol signed on Tuesday, nevertheless, stipulates that there shall be a niche between the spectators and the higher parapet, extensive sufficient for safety and rescue companies to go via.


There’s additionally the opportunity of protests after this 12 months’s ongoing and generally violent demonstrations towards pension reforms pushed by President Emmanuel Macron.

“There’s a want to current a really lovely picture of France. It is true that the Seine, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and others are extremely evocative. So behind it is a large publicity marketing campaign to function France. And there’s additionally a political dimension. I believe President Macron needs to mark his presidency,” Cavallier stated. “However the dangers are there.

“The concept may be very tempting,” he added. “Realizing that can take plenty of work.”

Civil liberties campaigners have additionally sounded the alarm that Olympic safety measures threat eroding freedoms. Critics have raised privateness considerations in regards to the video surveillance know-how for use experimentally, combining cameras with synthetic intelligence software program to flag potential safety dangers similar to deserted packages or crowd surges. Authorities added lots of of surveillance cameras in areas that can host Olympic occasions. Critics argue that disruptive and enduring safety is commonly the poisonous legacy of the Olympics.

The police have been boosted. Darmanin has spoken of a “harassment, purge” marketing campaign of crime within the space that hosts the Olympic web site.


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