« You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get »
This motto by American swimmer Michael Phelps, one of the most decorated Olympians of all time, encourages us to dream big and always keep trying. The Paris 2024 Olympics aspire to make these dreams come true. Originality and revolutionary projects: here is what Paris has in store for you.
A Unique and original trademark
New sporting events, a beautiful location, symbols of unity : the 2024 Olympics are preparing a groundbreaking show. Taking place in the center of Paris, with events happening under the Eiffel Tower or Place de la Concorde, the games plan to be memorable. They will be offering 32 sports, with more than 300 events. Some original sporting events will be hosted including skating and breaking; two sports aiming to be inclusive and more accessible to the younger generation. Surfing events will be taking place in Tahiti (French Polynesia), a paradisiac destination that will surely offer a beautiful sight. Paris also plans to organize an amateur version of the marathon on the same day as the professional event, in order to give each and every one a chance to live the Olympic experience. People around the city will be able to run the exact same route as the athletes, under the same conditions.
In addition to all the original sporting events, the Paris 2024 Olympics promise to be the first completely gender equal games, with the exact same number of female and male participants. The inclusivity of the games can also be seen through the choice of the logo, which is the same for the Olympics and the Paralympics; a first in history. The 2024 Olympics also hope to ease the transition into more eco-friendly games with measures taken to reduce impacts on the climate.
Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, had promised it : if Paris was elected to host the 2024 Olympics, some of the nautical events would happen in the Seine. Surprising? Definitely. The Seine has not been swimmable since a decree passed in 1923 due to pollution and health hazards. The plan is to invest money to clean the river in time for the 2024 Olympics. One of the events happening in the Seine would be the triathlon, during which athletes have to swim 1.5 km (approx. 1 mile).
There are different issues when it comes to cleaning the Seine. The first is to retrieve all the physical trash. Old bikes, beer cans, phones, and many other objects lie at the bottom of the Seine, slowly disintegrating over the years. An important part of the process is to get rid of these items in order to have a clean basis, and to avoid contamination of the waters due to the disintegration. The next step is to actually clean the river in order to get rid of bacteria and threats present in the water itself. This means purifying the river with special stations in the outskirts of town before the water flows through the capital city. This step will return the Seine to its natural clear color, making it more appealing to the eye in addition to ridding it of all health hazards. Finally, the aim is to prevent further pollution from flowing into the river so that it can stay swimmable in the long term. Currently, part of the reason why the waters stay dirty and polluted is due to sewers flowing into them. By changing the sewers’ route and installing a filtering station, the Seine would be free of any threats to additional pollution. Boats and buildings would no longer be allowed to dump used water into the river.
The project is still hypothetical and not yet in motion, but if the plan succeeds, swimmable zones will be put in place in various areas of Paris, where people can swim freely just like in the sea. It will not be like long, wide ocean beaches, but swimming under the Eiffel Tower amidst historical buildings does have its charm.
The Paris 2024 Olympics have great ambitions for the athletes and the city, but as Walt Disney said : « If you can dream it, you can do it ».
Image: Logo officiel des JO de Paris 2024, 21 octobre 2019, www.paris2024.org