Paris 2024 | The opening ceremony on the Seine will last nearly four hours

(Paris) As the sun sets on the horizon and the moon appears in reflections on the Seine, the organizing committee of the Paris Olympic Games has indicated that the opening ceremony will last nearly four hours on July 26.

A total of 205 delegations will parade on more than 80 boats which will sail on the Seine. The ceremony will take place from east to west, from one bridge to another, over nearly six kilometers between the Austerlitz bridge and the Jena bridge.

Preparations will begin around 3:45 p.m. and culminate around 11:15 p.m. local time, following artistic performances and the athletes’ parade.

They will parade in front of around 320,000 spectators massed behind security cordons located on the lower and upper banks of the Seine. Others will be able to watch the grandiose event on giant screens which will broadcast the opening ceremony live.

“For one evening, the Seine will be transformed into a giant outdoor ceremony,” said the director of ceremonies at the Paris Games, Marie-Catherine Ettori, during a media availability on Thursday.

As soon as the 10,500 athletes have left the boats, the last act of the opening ceremony will take place on the Place du Trocadéro, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Despite all the excitement surrounding this unique ceremony, many concerns persist about the security surrounding the event.

Last month, France raised its state of alert to maximum following a terrorist attack at a concert hall in Russia that was attributed to the Islamic State.

French President Emmanuel Macron was cautious in his comments earlier this week about the outdoor event, which is expected to be attended by more than 100 dignitaries from around the world. He notably indicated that the event could be moved to the Stade de France, if the security threats became too great.

Without disputing Macron’s view, Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra and other French politicians remained optimistic about holding the opening ceremony on the Seine.

“We are working tirelessly on plan A, which remains essential, and our main scenario,” said Oudéa-Castéra during an event marking the 100 days before the Olympics kick off on Wednesday. We continue to work on this fantastic event which will take place on the Seine. »

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