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Paris 2024 Olympics: Every thing it is advisable to know as flame lighting ceremony begins remaining countdown to Video games | World Information

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The countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympics is on.

The Olympic torch was lit in an official ceremony in historical Olympia on Tuesday, the beginning of a relay throughout Greece and France that can finish in Paris for the beginning of the Video games on 26 July.

The Olympics will happen from 26 July to 11 August and the Paralympics will run from 28 August to eight September.

Take into account this your final information to the Video games – all the pieces it is advisable to know, up to date because the opening ceremony approaches.

What occurs when the torch is lit?

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The torch was lit at the spot originally used for the Olympic Games by the traditional Greeks earlier than being handed to the primary torchbearer.

There started an 11-day relay in Greece earlier than the torch travels to France on board a three-masted ship, the Belem.

The French leg of the relay begins in Marseille, the place the crusing competitions might be hosted.

A complete of 10,000 torchbearers will carry the flame throughout the 64 territories of France on its strategy to the capital metropolis, the place the torch will mild the Olympic flame, formally beginning the Video games.

The Olympic torch is lit at a ceremony in Greece. Pic: Reuters

What’s deliberate for the opening ceremony?

The plan has been billed as “a gap ceremony like no different”: 10,500 athletes, 160 boats, a 3.7-mile route alongside the River Seine.

It’s anticipated 1 billion folks will watch the occasion world wide and 326,000 might be there in individual – a downsizing of the deliberate 600,000 on safety grounds.

The 26 July occasion is ready to be the primary Olympic opening ceremony held exterior a stadium setting.

The parade will finish on the Trocadero sq., dealing with the Eiffel Tower.

How the opening ceremony could look. Pic: Paris 2024
The opening ceremony is anticipated to finish on the Eiffel Tower. Pic: Paris 2024

Nevertheless, the most effective laid of plans could also be upset by safety threats.

President Emmanuel Macron has admitted the ceremony could be scaled down if the safety menace is deemed too excessive.

There are “plan Bs, and even plan Cs”, the French chief stated. That might appear like confining the occasion to the Trocadero – scrapping the river parade – or shifting it indoors to the Stade de France.

Issues with the Seine

The opening ceremony is not the one Seine-related headache France is coping with.

The triathlon could be delayed, or the swimming leg cancelled altogether, because of poor water high quality ranges.

Heavy rain may elevate ranges of E. coli within the water, making it unsafe to swim.

Testing of the River Seine found E coli and faecal matter. Pic: Reuters
Testing of the River Seine discovered E coli and faecal matter. Pic: Reuters

The Surfrider Basis Europe charity warned in April that samples from the Seine confirmed harmful ranges of micro organism within the water.

After discovering proof of E. coli, enterococci, intestinal micro organism and “formidable indicators of air pollution of faecal origin”, the charity stated athletes swimming within the water might be “taking vital dangers to their well being”.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and Mr Macron have promised to take a dip within the river earlier than the beginning of the Video games to display it’s secure.

The brand new sport on the Video games

Breaking – also called breakdancing – will make its debut as an Olympic sport in Paris.

Breaking athletes are referred to as B-Boys and B-Ladies. The competitors will function 16 B-Boys and 16 B-Ladies who will face off one on one.

They are going to be judged on 5 classes: musicality, vocabulary, originality, approach and execution.

Breaking joins different not too long ago established “city” sports activities together with skateboarding, browsing, sport climbing and BMXing.

Breakdancer Kareem Gwinn, 37, of the U.S. participates in a workshop at Place de la Concorde to spread the love of the sport, to debut at the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France, February 6, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Pic: Reuters

Video games in a time of struggle

Russian and Belarusian athletes might be allowed to compete regardless of the continued struggle in Ukraine – however they are going to achieve this as impartial athletes.

Meaning they won’t not be allowed to parade within the opening ceremony and won’t have their nationwide anthems performed, or their nationwide flags raised, in the event that they win medals.

This choice from the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) has angered Moscow.

Mr Macron has additionally stated Russia can be requested to watch a ceasefire in Ukraine throughout the Video games.

Suspending armed conflicts below an Olympic truce throughout the Video games was a normal observe in historical Greece.

Nevertheless, the Kremlin stated Ukraine may use a ceasefire as a chance to regroup and rearm.

Some Palestinian activists and a bunch of 26 French politicians known as for Israel to be banned from the Video games over the struggle in Gaza, however the IOC stated it had no plans to sanction Israel.

How is Paris making ready for the Video games?

Seine-Saint-Denis, within the northeast of the capital, is the home of the Olympic Village, which can home 9,000 athletes.

The dimensions of 70 soccer pitches, the village is cut up by the River Seine with a bridge to hyperlink the lodging blocks.

After the Video games, the village might be was properties for six,000 folks and workplaces for six,000 employees.

Greater than half of the buildings being constructed or renovated for the Video games are in Seine-Saint-Denis, mainland France’s poorest area.

Whereas it is hoped the Video games will depart a legacy of latest and refurbished sports activities infrastructure within the suburb, dozens of squats have been cleared in 2023 in what advocates stated seemed to be a coverage geared toward beautifying the world.

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Contained in the Olympic Village

Transport preparations are additionally below scrutiny. The worth of metro tickets will virtually double throughout the Video games, from €2.10 (£1.80) to €4 (£3.40).

The town’s mayor Anne Hidalgo and the area’s president Valerie Pecresse have been at odds over whether or not the capital’s transport system might be prepared for the inflow of vacationers.

Ms Pecresse – whose regional council is answerable for transport – stated the value hike would cowl the “dramatic” enhance in transport, whereas the mayor has stated there will not be sufficient trains.

Ms Hidalgo additionally stated the scenario for town’s homeless was one other main subject.

“I do not need to take them out and conceal them (throughout the Olympics). There needs to be a social legacy,” she stated.

France was accused of making an attempt to “conceal poverty” forward of the Video games, with police reportedly evicting homeless folks from makeshift camps.

A shanty city subsequent to Bordeaux’s soccer stadium was additionally cleared in line with the report by a set of charities, which stated cities have been being topic to “social cleaning”. French authorities denied the accusations.

Will Notre-Dame reopen in time for the Video games?

A night view shows the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, which was ravaged by a fire in 2019, with a new spire, surmounted by the rooster and the cross, as restoration works continue in Paris, France, March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
5 years after the fireplace at Notre-Dame, the church spire is now seen. Pic: Reuters

In a metropolis of landmarks, Notre-Dame is likely one of the most well-known, the cathedral’s twin bell towers rising above the Seine.

It has been closed to the general public for 5 years after a devastating fire ripped through the building, toppling the spire.

President Macron declared after the April 2019 blaze that he would rebuild the church inside 5 years – a pledge many handled with scepticism.

Whereas the cathedral is not going to be open to the general public in time for the Olympics – the reopening is scheduled for December – the scaffolding has now been eliminated to disclose the brand new spire.

What about bedbugs?

Final autumn, Paris was within the grip of a bedbug crisis – though specialists stated the issue was just as bad in London.

Emmanuel Gregoire, first deputy mayor of Paris, known as on Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne to behave on the “scourge” earlier than the Olympics.

“Mattress bugs are a public well being drawback and needs to be reported as such,” he wrote to her.

“The state should urgently deliver collectively all involved as a way to enact an motion plan acceptable with this scourge as all of France prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic Video games in 2024.”

After the preliminary panic, authorities stated there was no hint of any uncommon outbreak.

In March, a French minister claimed the bedbug scare was artificially amplified by social media accounts linked to Russian “disinformation” actions.

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