If not the Seine River, where? : the alternatives for the opening ceremony that Macron revealed

For the first time, the President of France mentioned the other plans that the organization has for Paris 2024 in the event that, finally, the parade of delegations across the Seine River cannot take place on July 26. “We prepared them in parallel,” he said.

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The Stade France, home of rugby 7 and athletics, is one of the alternatives for the opening ceremony in Paris 2024. 
Credit @LosPumas
The Stade France, home of rugby 7 and athletics, is one of the alternatives for the opening ceremony in Paris 2024. Credit @LosPumas

The possibility that the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will not take place as scheduled on the Seine River, on July 26, due to some extreme situation such as a terrorist threat, has been mentioned many times.

The president of France himself, Emmanuel Macron, once assured that there were other alternatives besides the fact that the organization was always confident that the ceremony will not move from the original, historic plan, because an event that traditionally takes place in a stadium will be moved to the open air.

In the last few hours, Macron confirmed that they are working on other stages and for the first time confirmed what are the alternatives for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games if it cannot be held on the Seine River.

“The ceremony we are planning is a world first. We can do it and we are going to do it. If we believe that there are risks, we have plans B and plans C and we prepare them in parallel,” said the president, in an interview with BFMTV television.

During his visit to the Grand Palais in Paris, which will be one of the venues of the Games, Macron mentioned that one of the options is to “restrict the ceremony to the Trocadero Square in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower” and the other, now more traditional, is to transfer it to the Stade de France stadium.

Emmanuel Macron toured Le Grand Palacios, one of the venues of the Olympic Games. 
Credit @GrandPalaisRmn
Emmanuel Macron toured Le Grand Palacios, one of the venues of the Olympic Games. Credit @GrandPalaisRmn

In the original idea, Plaza del Trocadero will be the place where the parade of boats that will carry the athletes will end. The Stade de France, meanwhile, will host rugby 7 and athletics in Paris 2024.

“We don’t minimize the situation, the world is in disarray, we have a war in Europe (in Ukraine), we see what’s happening in the Middle East, that there is a terrorist risk. But we are preparing to face it, with transparency,” said Macron, stressing about the opening ceremony that “there will be no safer place”.

Macron said that “we are constantly working with our counterparts, in terms of intelligence and information” and indicated that “a few months ago, an attempted attack in Strasbourg commanded by the same people who committed the one in Moscow was dismantled.” Meanwhile, less than 100 days before the start of the Games, the president hoped that during Paris 2024 there will be “an Olympic truce”.

Macron spoke about the situation in Russia and the comparison with Israel

The participation of Russian athletes, as well as those from Belarus, will only be under a condition of neutrality and on an individual basis, while other conditions for being in Paris will be that they have never supported the invasion of Ukraine or having any link with the army.

Macron referred to this situation and responded to those who compare him to Israel: “Russia committed aggression in Ukraine. Israel was the victim of a terrorist attack. It is true that, in response to this, it is bombing Gaza and killing civilians, so we call for a truce.”

“But we can’t say that Israel is an attacker and that’s an important difference (with Russia). That’s why their athletes will be with their flag at the Games, which I hope will be a vector of peace,” said the President of France.

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