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One more month of countdown: Paris is getting ready for the Olympic Games

With one month to go until the opening ceremony, Paris is in the final stages of preparations for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Here’s how the French capital is preparing to host the world’s biggest sporting event for the third time in its history .

GOING OPERATIONAL

In the coming days and weeks, the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee will intensify the transition from preparation to operation mode. Key facilities and venues set to open include the Main Press Centre, the International Broadcast Center and the Olympic Village, which will accommodate more than 14,000 residents, including athletes, coaches, support staff and officials.

The Paris 2024 Main Operations Center, which has been operational since mid-April, is scheduled to begin full operations during the Games on June 26, while other venues are also being finalized.

Construction of temporary facilities at key locations in Paris, such as the Concorde and Trocadero public squares, the Invalides Monument and the Eiffel Tower, is nearing completion. These works include provisional grandstands for 37,000 spectators for events such as basketball, skateboarding, BMX and breakdancing. Authorities have also introduced traffic diversions to make large parts of the city pedestrian-friendly.

On the competitive side, more than 80 percent of the qualifying schedule has been completed, representing more than 8,000 athletes. The remaining event slots will be confirmed at the end of June and national or regional Olympic committees have until July 8 to register their athletes. Paris 2024 will be the first time that athlete participation in the Olympic Games will include full gender equality.

FANS

More than eight million tickets have been sold so far for Paris 2024, already ensuring it will be one of the best-attended Games ever.

The organizing committee has reported particularly high demand for athletics, swimming, basketball, football and rugby sevens. Other popular events include volleyball, handball, beach volleyball, hockey, tennis and water polo.

The enthusiasm of the fans was already evident in the run-up to the Games: more than 2.5 million people attended the Olympic torch relay in France, including 150,000 in Marseille. Another six million people watched the relay on television.

The general public can also participate in the mega-event through the Cultural Olympiad Paris 2024, a multidisciplinary artistic and cultural program with more than 2,000 projects, 80 percent of which offer free admission.

In addition, more than 900 fan activities have been set up across France, offering opportunities to watch the Games, take part in cultural and sporting activities, explore cities and enjoy local cuisine.

SECURITY

Amid concerns about potential threats such as drone attacks, the French government has halved spectator capacity for the Olympic opening ceremony.

Up to 300,000 people will be able to attend the ceremony from stands on the banks of the River Seine, while it was initially planned to seat 600,000 people.

During this event, teams will parade in boats along a 6 km (3.8 mile) stretch of the Seine through central Paris.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron has indicated that the ceremony could be moved to an indoor stadium if security risks increase.

To ensure security, Paris police chief Laurent Nunez has said that around 30,000 police officers and 18,000 soldiers from the armed forces will be mobilized daily during the Games.

The organizers have assured that the security measures will guarantee the safety of participants and spectators.

Parliamentary elections

President Macron’s announcement of new parliamentary elections – following his party’s defeat by the National Rally (RN) in the European Parliament elections – will have no impact on the Games, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Macron has decided to hold early elections, with which he wants to regain his political position. The elections will take place on June 30 and July 7.

Speaking in Paris 2024, IOC President Thomas Bach expressed confidence that the upcoming elections will not disrupt Olympic preparations. He emphasized that France has experience in organizing elections and that political leaders are united in their support for the Games.

“I have no indication that this unity will be broken now, just before the Games start,” Bach said.

While some have expressed concerns about the timing of the vote, the local organizing committee echoed Bach’s sentiments.

“We are more determined than ever to make the Games a success,” said Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet.

“There have been about ten elections since we launched the candidacy for the Olympic Games, and we understood how to work with the public actors,” he added.

PARIS 2024 IN NUMBERS

About 10,500 athletes from more than 200 countries and regions will converge on the French capital to compete in 329 events over 17 days. Meanwhile, more than 15 million tourists are expected to visit Paris during the event, while four billion viewers are expected to tune in on television.

A 62,000-strong security force consisting of police and military personnel will be deployed for the opening ceremony.

Medals will be distributed across 32 disciplines, including four newcomers: surfing (which is organized in Tahiti), sport climbing, breaking and skateboarding. Some of these sports have previously been included in the Olympic Games in exhibition categories.

Ticket sales are rising towards nine million and are expected to reach ten million by the end of the Games, organizers said.

It is estimated that 30,000 volunteers will take part in providing general information, helping spectators at venues, supporting athletes and assisting with the 6,000 planned doping tests.

Meanwhile, some 13 million meals and snacks will be served to fans, athletes, officials and support staff during the Games.